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Increasing levels of mental health issues in younger people

Why are more young people suffering anxiety etc.?

By Peter RosePublished 2 months ago 3 min read

Increasing levels of mental health issues in younger people

Why are more young people suffering anxiety etc.?

Reports published in Britain (February 2024) have raised concern over the increasing number of young people not working due to mental health issues.

----- According to the report, young people now have the poorest mental health of any age group - a reversal from two decades ago when they had the lowest incidence of common mental disorders.

In 2021/22, 34% of young people aged 18 to 24 reported symptoms of a mental disorder, such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder.

In 2000 that figure stood at 24%.

As a result, more than half a million 18 to 24 year olds were prescribed anti-depressants in 2021-22. ------

This report is focused on Britain but it is reasonable to consider similar findings can be found in all other developed industrialised nations. This is disturbing for many reasons, the most obvious is the distress this must cause so many individuals and their families.

There are other considerations, from the future costs to a nation and to the individuals, to the overall employment situation. Even though automation and advances in Artificial intelligence will reduce the numbers of salaried “workers” there will still be a need for well trained highly motivated people. The pressures of working at jobs where there are high expectations of accuracy while working against short time frames will increase.

Why are we recording increases in mental health problems now? It is only going to get worse unless we find and remove the causes. From the perspective of a much older generation, modern young people have less cause for anxiety than those who were young during times of war, times of threat of nuclear annihilation, times with much less social welfare support, times with much more limited educational support; and yet the diagnosis of mental disorders is much larger.

Is it the diagnosis rather than the event? Is it the very much wider use of drugs and stimulants? Is it the much larger social input young people are now subjected to ? Were the previous generations protected simply by greater ignorance of all the bad stuff about? Or is social media the culprit? is it the avalanche of “image desire” marketing that is piled onto young people these days? Previous generations of young people had virtually no economic power and so no one tried to influence how they spent money they did not have.

Whatever the cause this is an important issue that needs a solution.

Is it left of centre political proclamations that are giving false expectations about life and the problems it dumps on you? Have all the claims that the state will take care of everything, that the young have rights, not duties, that everyone has a right to be carefree and happy regardless of their individual efforts. Have these ideologies replaced the “learning to cope” that previous generations accepted?

Do modern young people expect never to be cold, tired, hungry, wet, rejected, lied to, disappointed, cheated, hurt mentally and physically, do they never expect to fail, do they assume that they will not ever be faced with challenges they cannot meet, do they always expect to win? Previous generations just accepted all these things as facts of life and got on with coping.

This is a real issue that needs practical solutions, it is going to need much greater action than just providing more social welfare to support the stricken and ill. The causes must be identified and be removed. If it is proven that the percentage levels of young people actually suffering from anxiety etc. has not changed but now the problems are being identified; then there needs to be a serious study of why the levels of employment have changed for this age group. Did previous generations simply work through their problems and that work acted as therapy? If so, why has that changed? Is it that the medical diagnosis triggers social support and now young people do not just work through their problems, while previous generations carried on in ignorance of their illness and the act of carrying was the necessary therapy?

lifestylewellnessself caremental healthhealthaging

About the Creator

Peter Rose

Collections of "my" vocal essays with additions, are available as printed books ASIN 197680615 and 1980878536 also some fictional works and some e books available at Amazon;-



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  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    Interesting! Anxiety is good to know about and treatable! Great work!

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