A startling number of adolescents are facing mental health problems around the world, and in many cases, it goes untreated until they head to college.
Alarming rates of youth suicide and self-harm have been reported globally, as well as the prevalence of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
A report by NBC Washington has highlighted a trend among today’s youth that could be a contributing factor to their poor mental health: social stress.
In today’s social media landscape, teenagers face severe pressure and anxiety when it comes to their social media presence and keeping up with the latest digital trends.
Born into the digital world, smartphones, iPads, computers and other personal digital gadgets have become such an important aspect of their lives, they often feel anxiety and fear when they find themselves without it.
As reported by NBC Washington, “In Illinois, Glenbrook High Schools District 225 experimented with limiting teens’ access to their grades on a digital portal. But for every student who said the grade book caused them anxiety, there was another who said losing regular access created even more stress…”
Emily Mogavero, a 17-year-old student in Buffalo, New York, said, “I definitely feel stress with online profiles, social media, to keep up, maintain my profiles and stuff. It kind of worries me that I’m on my phone so much.”
Mogavero said that sometimes she puts her phone away from her reach so she can’t hear her notifications.
Many adults in the working world can relate to these feelings of anxiety when their phone goes off repeatedly from the constant notifications – e-mails, texts, social media and messaging platforms demanding their time at all hours of the day.
But it is worrying that students as young as fifteen or sixteen are already facing this kind of anxiety. Along with the typical stressors faced by students such as exam anxiety, peer pressure and expectations for the future, it’s easy to see why so many are facing poor mental health.