I read an article on New York Times article written by Benoit Denizet-Lewis on October 11, 2017 about “Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?” The article hit home as I also had anxiety issues about school when I was in 4th grade. The article made me realize that I was not alone with the growing problem of anxiety among teenagers. Also, that I was not just making excuses to not go to school as my parents pointed out during those times of struggle.
I think, parents should read this article so they can be aware that anxiety among teenagers is actually a problem. Most parents would think teenagers do not have enough responsibilities that warrant anxiety and I do not fault parents for that. This is an emerging problem and more research needs to be done to find conclusive data on the anxiety among teenagers. In the article it states, “Jake locked himself in a bathroom at home and tried to drown himself in the bathtub” (par 5). Parents may brush off anxiety because anxiety is something that all of us will go through at some point in life but anxiety to the point that a person would want to commit suicide especially among teenagers is something that is still an uncharted topic for most people.
The fear of failure is where it normally starts for anxiety among teenagers. “Not coincidentally, failure was one of Jake’s biggest fears” (par 2). It was the same for me in my experience. The fear of failing my math class haunted me to the point of me breaking down crying and not wanting to go to school. It paralyzed my thoughts. I am proud to say that, the fear of failing that leads to anxiety is no longer an issue for me at this point in my life. I now know that failures can actually make you better if you try harder the next time. Also, the emergence of social media as pointed out in the article is a major factor on the increase of anxiety among teeenagers. “In high school, I’d constantly be judging my self-worth online,” he told me, recalling his tortured relationship with Facebook. “I would think, Oh, people don’t want to see me on their timeline” (par 32). Anxiety can start from simple pressure of trying to look good on social media that can turn to anxiety from pleasing people. If an individual can’t get that social media success or self-worth, it puts more pressure and later on anxiety for teenagers to perform in real life.
In closing, I would like to appreciate this eye opening article. My experiences with anxiety made more sense to me after reading the different stories and insights in the article. All I can do now is to share this article to as many people as possible so they too will have the realization that I’ve had reading it.