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Gen Z & Anxiety

In the United States, various studies have shown that younger Millennials and Gen Z's are more stressed, lonely, depressed and anxious than previous generations.

Although a lot of experts have tried to suggest digital and social media as the root cause for these issues, the fact is that data does not support this to be the most important source of the problem, and it is definitely not the sole reason behind it.

Young adults are worried about their future in every sense—from the ever increasing financial uncertainty created by student loans, and other factors, to the pressure to succeed academically and athletically. Other issues like safety concerns, societal acceptance and climate change add to the stress. The rise in school shootings in the past decade is sufficient to make any young person anxious.

And with all of these stressors plaguing our minds, we are still expected to perform well at school, sports, arts, extracurricular activities, religious activities, community service, etc.

Some teens exert themselves trying to live up to all these standards, while others end up rebelling and spending time trying to get away from it all. Often, that time is spent on social media, binging Netflix shows, or playing video games. Both sides of the coin —overexerting or isolating oneself— can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health. Although there are various mental health problems that could affect young adults due to all the pressures and circumstances of today's world, one of the most common seems to be anxiety disorders. According to the NIH, 31.9% of adolescents and 19.1% of adults in the U.S. suffer from an anxiety disorder

Having an anxiety disorder can interfere with focus, learning, work, relationships and a myriad other areas of life. Some signs of anxiety can be obvious while others can be more difficult to spot. Incessant worry is one of the common signs that people associate with an anxiety disorder. People living with an anxiety disorder may report frequent aches and pains (headaches, stomach, chest, or back pain, etc.) that don't get better with treatment. Low energy, irritability, tiredness, difficulty breathing, difficulty focusing or concentrating are also typical.

It is not unusual for people with anxiety disorders to deny the problem. So, acknowledging the problem is the first step in beginning to get the right care. It is important for friends and family members to be aware of the possible symptoms of anxiety and not dismiss the problem when they see it. Symptoms of anxiety can get worse if the feelings of the person dealing with anxiety are invalidated by those around them

If you or someone you know may be suffering from the symptoms of anxiety described above, please make an appointment to discuss your concerns with your health care provider. Relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, medication and psychotherapy can help in the management of anxiety. There is hope! Mental health conditions can be appropriately managed, if you seek help. Don't wait! The path to wellness starts with you!

Thanks for reading my loves! Until next week.



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