It’s a sad but very modern paradox. Despite the many wonderful opportunities and options like education, technologies, internet resources, and travel that are open to young people today, young people’s mental health today has never been so fragile. In contrast to the frequently portrayed images of happy, successful, and socially connected millennials in selfies, outspoken twitter messages or entertaining Facebook images, in fact, many millennials seem to feel more empty and lost than ever. Self-harm is widespread, and most current reports suggest that substance misuse and eating disorders are on the increase. Depression is common, as many young people think themselves to be failures in the rapidly changing world where nothing is secure, and where competition for jobs or places at University adds pressure and anxiety. Even the very young face demands: in Silicon Valley, USA, for example, children as young as 4 are exhausted due to pressure from so-called ‘helicopter parents’ and teachers to (over) achieve and compete with their peers. The pressure to want and have it all (successful careers, relationships, hobbies, a home, starting a family) is increasingly burdensome for young adults in their twenties and thirties.
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