Anxiety is the top mental health issue among American youths. It is no surprise when considering the societal standards that are pressed upon today’s youth. Teens spend more time one achievement and thinking about adulthood and less time being typical teenagers. Society has set the stage for this issue. What is different about the teenage life now vs. in the past?
Here are five factors that contribute to the increase in anxiety among the modern-day teenager:
- Social media influence is higher than ever
Today’s youth seem to be putting their worth in the hands of social media. The number of likes, followers, and comments are used as one determines their value and place in the social sphere. Social media can also be linked to struggles with body image. Teens compare themselves and their bodies to celebrities, models, and even photoshopped images of people.
- Pressures to decide careers before one even graduates high school
The pressure for one to know what they want to begins at a young age. They are constantly pushed to decide on a career and job before they even graduate high school. The school system and parents both play a role in this. While the concept of having career tracks in high school seems like a good idea, it also enforces the idea that kids should already know what they want to do with the rest of their lives at a young age. Parents also hold high expectations for their kids. Success seems to sit at the forefront. Parents pushing the highest paying job or the most prestigious college is a common trend in today’s time.
- We live in an environment that anticipates catastrophe
Whereas the environment was once confident in itself, it now anticipates the worst. The increase in school shootings, mass shootings, and war over borders can add to anxiety in teens. These types of tragedies can consume one’s thoughts making them always feel on edge, unsafe, or unsure about the hope they have in the world.
- Parental pressure to be the best
Competitiveness is a hot commodity. Parents compete with other parents as teens compete with their peers. There is an overwhelming pressure in the air to simply “be the best”. This looks different in each household, but the core is all the same. Artificial praise can also contribute to the problem. Telling your teen, “you’re the fastest runner out there” doesn’t exactly boost their confidence. Instead, it instills a new pressure in teens to uphold this standard.
- The focus is more on achievement rather than enjoyment
The pressure to get ahead in life and check an accomplishment off the list is higher than ever. Teens have become more focused on completing tasks and meeting standards rather than enjoying activities and making memories. The voices telling them to “be better”, “try harder”, and “do more” are directly linked to their anxiety.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls ages 14-18 who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. This program uses a relationship-based approach that emphasizes high levels of family intervention, emotional safety, and the creation of healthy boundaries. Students learn and develop the skills they need to lead healthy lives. Education, diet, exercise, personal responsibility, and social integration are all elements of the curriculum. Solstice East enforces a positive change in the lives of young women and gives them hope for a brighter and healthier future. We can help your family today!
Contact us at (855) 672-7058