From last Sunday’s New York Times: Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?
Below are two passages that caught my eye. Initially, they seem like opposite opinions from two different experts in the field, but I believe they are both true at the same time. Kids these days are feeling overwhelming pressure to always be working toward the next “big thing”. They are busy paddling as fast as they can with no end in sight. At the same time, they are sometimes receiving messages that tell them that they are fragile, incapable of putting up with any discomfort and regularly in need of adult intervention.
For many of these young people, the biggest single stressor is that they “never get to the point where they can say, ‘I’ve done enough and now I can stop’…There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college. Kids have a sense that they’re not measuring up. The pressure is relentless and getting worse.”
“Kids are being given some really dangerous messages these days about the fact that they can’t handle being triggered, that they shouldn’t have to bear witness to anything that makes them uncomfortable and that their external environments should bend to and accommodate their needs…”