Once upon a time being young and at the prime of teen life means fun at the diner, lovers holding hands, and hanging out with friends. This time, it seems that being young means stress, stress and more stress. The stories that parents usually tell their kids about "the younger years" has become more than just mere history as recent study found that students are dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues.
The study, which was co authored by Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University Psychology Professor and was released last Monday January 11, says that youth seems to be struggling with anxiety and depression. This was based on a culled response to a psychological questionnaire used as far back as 1938, the era of the Great Depression.
Stress and Depression are real among today's youth and the number who has experienced this is growing. The usual causes of these mental problems are school and life in general. Stress is characterized by feelings of frustration, tension, worry and withdrawal that last for days. Depression on the other hand is characterized by more extreme feelings like hopelessness and sadness lasting more than stress as it stretches to weeks. Experts speculate that the biggest contributor to these mental issues is the influence of popular culture, which largely focuses on external factors like wealth, looks and status. The youth, nowadays, seems to concentrate on the belief that success is associated with having lots of money where in fact this is false. Finishing one's study and finding a good job is more pressuring because of the want to be "successful".
The study analyzed the responses of 77,576 high school and college students. The samples were from 1938 through 2007. Although there was an increase in the number of threshold passers in mental categories, there was also a staggering increase in those who didn't meet it. The current result may even be low considering the antidepressants that they may be taking as well. The number of student who scored high with psychopathic deviation-a trouble with authority-has increased from five percent in 1938 to 24 percent in 2007.
Anxiety is said to contribute to their stress. This may largely depend on overprotective parents who have left their kids with few real-world coping skills. Anxiety, at this point, becomes seemingly normal as they have less confidence in dealing with things.
The result to the study, conducted by Twenge and other mental health expert, will be published in the future issue of Clinical Psychology Review. Psychologists wish that this will gain adults' attention to help youth in dealing with their stress. About 88 percent of juvenile suicide is due to depression. Helping those means giving them the proper guidance that they so truly deserve- away from the influence that causes wrong belief and harm.
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