By Jackson Troxler
Anxiety is a mental illness that affects the lives of many. It has become particularly prevalent among teenagers. With the rise of social media and the ongoing pressure to do well in school, anxiety has taken over many students’ lives. This mental illness causes our youth to falter both academically and socially. The pressures of fitting in and getting good grades can be a recipe for disaster. However, proper treatment for anxiety can alleviate certain difficulties that it causes and aid people in succeeding
Society has experienced major shifts in the past few decades. With the popularization of social media and the rise of school shootings, it’s only natural that teenagers have more to worry about. It’s no wonder that 70% of teens say that anxiety and depression are major problems among peers, according to Pew Research Center. Blame for these problems can be attributed to increased pressure from the educational system as well as networking platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Teens are constantly trying to conform to these archetypes, and if they fail to do so, they are prone to self-conscious anxiety.
When faced with high levels of anxiety, children may pursue harmful methods of attempting to ease their pain. Whether it be through drug use, self-harm, suicide attempts, or other painful coping mechanisms, teens have demonstrated how harmful anxiety can be. PBS revealed that “in 2017, there were 47 percent more suicides among people aged 15 to 19 than in the year 2000.” The problem of teenage suicide is growing at an alarming rate and this generation would be ill advised to ignore it.
Teenagers must receive proper care. According to the Child Mind Institute, there are several methods that can assist teenagers when they appear particularly anxious. Managing anxiety rather than eliminating it is key. People should not avoid tasks or activities just because they may become anxious. Respecting but not empowering these emotions, and not reinforcing fears, are examples of how to generally treat teenagers with anxiety. To find more specific coping mechanisms, and what you can do if you’re a student struggling with anxiety, you should seek out professional help and describe your specific symptoms. A licensed professional will be able to provide more in-depth methods of managing your anxiety.
While these acts may seem small, they can serve to help teenagers whose lives are burdened with seemingly infinite pressures. Through small accommodations, it is possible to relieve people of some of the anxieties they face and help teenagers to see the brighter side of life a little more often.
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