The Casual Normalization Of Anxiety In Generation Y Needs To End


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It is a part of being human. We experience it the most during finals, or just when the buildup of our stressful daily lives becomes too much. It makes sense for us to be rid with such anxiety. Our world is seriously f’d up. Despite the fact that our country is falling apart, we as young people have a cluster of stress triggers: school, love, sports, friends, family, etc. Count the amount of people in your life that are said to have anxiety, does it surpass your fingers and toes? Mine does, panic disorder and attacks run heavily in my family, and out of the throngs of my friends, I would say about two thirds have related to me on their anxieties, panic attack, and depression. A friend of mine, although not affected himself, knows of his sister, virtually all her friends, his girlfriend, and a good number of his close friends that all suffer from such anxiety disorders. With all these adolescents being so affected by this mental disorder, why is it handled so casually?

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Yes, our parents and others have these same stress triggers, and probably more extreme, so why are they still walking when young teens are huddled in a corner? There is an overwhelming amount of millennials cursed with taking this stress and turning it into an anxiety disorder. This doesn’t mean that because one day you’re feeling a bit nervous it guarantees a static anxious state, our minds are constantly recycling and creating new habits that play along with our anxieties. Because of the grey area between severe anxiety and just a difficult day, many young people are led to self-diagnose. This is done between most all mental illnesses and adolescents out of fear of alienation or judgement from their family or peers. When someone believes that they truly have something wrong with them, the anxiety of asking for help is one of the hardest things to do.

So what happens when a 13-year-old girl who just finished exams searches up “Anxiety Disorder,” she is bombarded with medical popup ads, diagnoses and personality quizzes? This information leads down a spiral of self-doubt, she thinks that she has some severe anxiety disorder, maybe even OCD, that’s what her friends call her when she peels the skin of her apple slices. But maybe it was that she just had a bad day, and now she is creating her own psychosomatic anxiety that very well might become what she thought it was originally.

Anxiety is basically impossible to avoid with all the new electronics and choices that are thrown in front of our generation. Sometimes our parents can’t understand this, shouldn’t having all these options for your future make it easier? Their lives were set up for them, the pressure to choose the most meaningful path in life was nonexistent because all they had to do was follow the path that those around them followed. With our access to social media, we have access to the lives of 500 million people we believe to be worth more than us. How are we supposed to feel secure in our life choices when we are crawling through life and some are posting pictures of their Harvard acceptance letters and Mercedes-Benz?


Because of our unending chasm of choices, we create more anxiety than necessary. The physical and normal stress that comes from having a busy life usually contributes to creating more neurotic problems in our heads that distract us from our daily dues. This is something I relate to, but not something I know how to fix, because I was never taught how to properly deal with controlling this grey area until it was too late. The 20 percent of teens suffering from these same issues were never formally taught this either. Controlling and managing stress is something that can easily be conquered in the original stages. As it has been said time and time again, “just stop thinking.” This may seem like a plausible answer to those that have already overcome their fears, but when an anxious teenager believes themselves to suffer from such severities, thinking is literally all they can do. How can we as a culture lower the statistic of a one in five chance of an anxiety diagnosis? How can we as a generation help ourselves deal with the weight of the world?

Author: Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy is a writer and publisher for Daddy Blog: Parenting Tips For Fathers. I'm a father of two girls and Educator for 20+ years. I love being a father, although it does have it's challenges. Let's help each other out!

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