Youth and Anxiety

youth and anxiety - Barb Ohori Youth CounsellorYouth and anxiety … why do so many youth seem to have such anxiety these days?

Anxiety is reported to be the number one mental health concern amongst the child and youth population. WHY IS THIS?  I hear people ask. I also hear that nobody seemed to have this high anxiety “back in the day” as it were, when we boomers were growing up.

It would be foolish to even attempt to unravel this complex issue of Child  Youth Anxiety but I can give you a list of what is out there and I truly believe that  probably all on the list are a piece of the puzzle to understanding what is happening to our children and their mental health.

  • Highly increased amount of information and stimulation coming in via TV, Internet, Cell phone and all forms of social media. This is all so new in our culture I believe even experts are struggling to keep up and understand.
  • Add the former to the fact that kids of all ages are getting less sleep than ever before..that in itself is hard on the growing brain, school hours haven’t changed to allow for this and many kids are arriving to school very tired and … you guessed it: anxious.
  • Reduced Resilience in our children. We live in a culture of increased fear, gone are the days when kids played outside for hours, wandered off, got lost, took buses, fell down and got up. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from life’s hardships or difficulties. It is my genuine belief that today’s kids have way less opportunities to behave in this way. Loving parents have to be aware of over scheduling kids and  to allow them to make mistakes.
  • Anxiety really is defined as Fear without threat. Normal anxiety is an adaptive natural process … fear/flight/freeze. This Natural process keeps us safe, we jump out of the way when a car is coming at us! However children feeling high levels of anxiety are experiencing all the symptoms … but with no real threat only perceived threat.  But generally speaking, going to school, making friends and having sleepovers is not life threatening in the real sense,
  • Healthy Diet and Exercise are essential to boost energy, improve all aspects of health and increase important hormones that help us feel good.
  • Give your kids tons of opportunities to be social, make friends and foster relationships.
  • It takes a Village to Raise a child…parents need support too.
  • If you are interested in finding out more regarding Child Youth Anxiety;