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8 Reasons Why Teenagers Are Suffering From So Much Anxiety These Days


Anxiety is a widespread health problem among teenagers and due to certain cultural shifts and societal changes that have occurred over the past three decades, the number of teens that are struggling with anxiety appears to be increasing.

Some teenagers are absolute perfectionists and have a fear of failure. Other teens are concerned so much about the way they appear in the eyes of other people that they feel stressed on a daily basis.

So, why is this so? Why are more teens than ever struggling with anxiety?

Here are the reasons:

1. Our culture puts too much emphasis on happiness.

Our culture places such great stress on happiness that some parents believe that it is their duty to make their children feel happy 24/7. When a kid is down in the dumps, his or her parents cheer them up. Or when a child is angry, his/her parents calm them down.

This way, children grow up believing that if they’re not happy all the time, then something isn’t right. Not only does this idea arouse feelings of confusion, uncertainty and worry, but it also prevents children from understanding that it is healthy and normal to feel worried, disappointed, afraid, angry, and sad sometimes as well.  

2. Children aren’t learning how to manage their emotions.

Parents put such great stress on academic preparation that it seems they forget to teach children the emotional skills they need to take care of their feelings, manage stress, deal with uncomfortable, difficult situations, and of course, succeed in life.

3. Digital devices provide an unhealthy escape.

Computer games and social media let children escape negative emotions such as sadness, boredom, or loneliness. But, the thing is that using digital devices to avoid sadness or discomfort actually prevents children from developing the coping skills and mental strength they need to deal with everyday challenges.

4. Parents are showering children with unrealistic praise.

Telling a kid things like: “You are the most intelligent child in the class,” or “You are the best football player on the team,” doesn’t boost self-esteem. Instead, it places pressure on children to measure up to these labels. And more often than not, this can lead to great fear of failure.

5. Parents feel the need to protect their kids rather than guide them.

A lot of parents believe that their role is to ensure their children grow up and mature with as few physical, mental, and emotional scars as possible. They protect their kids so much that the latter hardly ever handle challenges on their own. As a result of this, these children grow up to believe that they are too weak to manage life by themselves.

6. Parents allow their own fears to affect the way they raise their kids.

Parenting creates fear and guilt. But, instead of allowing themselves to feel these uncomfortable emotions, a lot of parents are changing the way they raise their kids.

For example, they don’t let their children out since this triggers their anxiety. Or they’re overwhelmed by feelings of guilt saying no to their children so much that they allow them to do everything they want. As a result of this, they teach their children that uncomfortable feelings are unbearable.

7. Parents don’t know how to help children face their fears the proper way.

Some parents tend to force their kids to do things they’re afraid of. And other parents do not push their children at all. Such parents simply allow their children not to do anything that causes them to feel anxious or afraid.

Exposing a child to the thing he/she is afraid of is an effective coping strategy, but only when it is done gradually. Without proper guidance and practice, children never develop confidence that they can overcome their fears directly.

8. Children are not being given enough free time to play with other kids or on their own.

Whether kids play with their peers or alone, both unstructured and solitary play are important for them as they teach them how to be creative, think on their own, handle disagreements without the help of an adult, and of course, feel comfortable in their own skin.