ARE MORE PEOPLE ANXIOUS TODAY? …Or just more aware of it?

Anxiety is uninvited, and many believe it is more prevalent today especially in the millennial’s.  One fact is that in 2018, Barnes & Noble had a 25 percent jump in sales of books about anxiety. This post is to make you think about things that are and things that once were.  Your childhood, our children, the youth, and young adults of today, why are they more outspoken, about having anxiety?

[Also taken from an medicalnewstoday article]

  • Outside of the U.S., the U.K. Council for Psychotherapy published  in 2017 that assessed the mental health of full- and part-time employees. Their figures show that “workers reporting anxiety and depression have risen by nearly a third in the last 4 years.”
  • Today, “anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S.,” affecting around  adults 40 million — almost 1 in 5 people.
  • Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) say that almost 300 million people have an anxiety disorder.
  • Europe has about 3% experience panic attacks in any given year yet the US affect about 11%. There are more females than males and it is most commonly seen in puberty and early adulthood.

Another interesting fact brought to light is that nearly 2/3rds of people polled in 2017 were extremely or somewhat anxious about health and safety… and they concluded that it has risen by 1/3, and in 2018 the same poll anxiety had risen by another 5 %!

It is very interesting read.

Having worked in health care and threatre arts since 1974 – much of the time with students or young adults. There has been a major change.    Kids used to be more involved in actual play using their imagination and in relationships with their friends.  In their imagination they could be the heroes they would pretend to be anything. They could escape the worries of growing up.  So not using the imagination could play a role.

Also, in many schools’ students (mostly girls) treat having anxiety as more of a norm that they embrace to fit in? Just ask a school nurse. Students boast about going to a Dr. to be put on meds.  In fact, they will compare notes on what to tell the Doctor as to get a diagnosis for some mental torment that they wear like a medal.

Teenagers want to fit in so bad they are very suggestible. The desire to fit in is strong! This is the definition of suggestibility from Wikipedia:

A person experiencing intense emotions tends to be more receptive to ideas and therefore more suggestible. Generally, suggestibility decreases as age increases. However,psychologists have found that individual levels of  elf-esteem  and assertiveness  can make some people more suggestible than others; this finding led to the concept of a spectrum of suggestibility.

Meanwhile many of those with actual anxiety problems suffer silently; many never diagnosed.  They just want to be free from what is robbing them of their life.

Today many kids are more self-centered, just check out social media and the selfie. Friendships do not develop as carefree as they used to. Topics of conversation are more about themselves and other people instead of theri dreams and spirations.  Kids today are often overly concerned about how they are perceived, and this tends to develop into excessive worry.   They have become alarmists who tend to dwell on the negative.   About social media, does it attract those that need to fit in and feel alone, or does it propagate a distance, a lack of connection between people?    Even the texting craze plays a role in the lack of developing real relationships. It is so easy to say almost anything if you are not standing side by side watching and getting cues on how the other person is receiving what you say.     

Parents working often several jobs rushing before and after work. There is more household stress and less one on one time with relaxed cheerful parents. Not that they do not care but for many todays’ lifestyle leaves little time to just relax.  There is More stress and less legitimate chill time.

Time and attention are focusing on the social media aspect of their life, not on live encounters. Much of TV was more realistic, like the good ole days of Leave It To Beaver.  Therefore, what kids are surrounded with is often negative in nature and telling them; they should rely on their “feeling”, not the right and wrong of a circumstance or situation.

We all know parents that treat their kids as a friend not as a disciplinarian. Their hope is…….    

I do not want to be seen as a bad parent.  

“Oh no Johnny has a temp there could be something wrong we must go to the doctor now. Oh, I must be sure Zoey does not fall if she gets bruises children and youth will be knocking at the door….  Oh, I must teach my kids not to talk to strangers they could be taken…  My child should not be sad we must act now …

My mom was very careful to keep up a supportive facade even when something bad happened to one of us. She knew our responses would mimic her example. Today’s moms not so much.  What happened?

Raised in an alarmist fashion worrying about not getting hurt, not getting ticks, the lice patrol, the fear of being taken, just look at the news! Those who have sensitivities to health and safety may have a difficult time navigating how much concern to actually have. Why even all the info about what car seat to use and what games can no longer be played at recess…  so much bombardment on health and safety issues….  It is a wonder that the numbers for anxiety are not higher.

These issues have always been around but now they have taken on more extreme importance. If the parent seems alarmed the child will learn the mindset that that is what is expected.

Sure, there has always been anxiety, and everyone has anxious moments.  Anxiety becomes a problem when it jumps in the driver’s seat of your day to day experiences and muddies the water. Things that often used to be just brushed aside are brought into the spotlight.  The joy of growing up is challenged by the need to fit social norms.

Think about it; TV ads solution to almost everything is that it can be dealt with meds.   We are to live these perfect little lives without anything that makes us “feel” bad. Meds are great when taken correctly, but in my nursing career so many people have asked the doctor for what their friends or family takes:  it did not even matter what diagnosis they had.

The causes of anxiety are deep and varied but this post is just to give you something to think about.   People have had some tremendous trauma if their young lives and have lived through circumstances that no one should go through. Their thought patterns relive their struggles and their mindset has been overpowered by that which should never have been. Hope has been crowded out.  The good thing that if a  negative thought pattern and mindset was created – a positive thought pattern and mindset can replace it.

Kids today are often overly concerned about their safety their health taking cues from those around them.  In some this tends to develop into excessive worry.    No  wonder so many of our thoughts dwell on the negative. We are taught we have to be careful of everything these days from bullies, to predators to hackers to. So much so that many dwell on just the negative and forget the positive. That is why we take a positive approach to panic and anxiety.

Does the increase in anxiety comes from an increased awareness, social media, what our youth has been exposed to through various TV, lyrics os the music they listen to (including advertising), chemical, environmental, dietary, a changing gene pool? Another thing to mention is the exposure to violence has been looked at in depth for some time. A National Institute of Health article suggests that repeated exposure to violence, creates chronic stress that may lead to long term increase in baseline cortisol and blood pressure which in turn can contribute to various physiological and psychological problems……..

… or could it be that prayer was taken out of school, and peace and joy has taken the back seat?  

Published by: Your Path to Freedom

This blog is all about attacking panic attack and anxiety with a positive mindset. Not long ago a good friend disclosed he had been a victim of panic attack for 10 years. I never would have guessed! Isn't that what you would want for yourself? Through trial and error he found what worked for him and we want to share his path to freedom with you.