‘Recent research suggests that as many as 1 in 6 young people will experience an anxiety condition at some point in their lives.’ Anxiety UK
Typing ‘Anxiety amongst Millennials’ into Google results in pages of equally shocking statistics, demonstrating the prevalence of the problem amongst the younger generation. A rise in anxiety disorders can be seen amongst Generation Y (those born 1980s – early 2000s) so much so that people are describing the issue as that of an epidemic nature.
What in today’s society is causing this rise? What can be done to treat those struggling?
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
We all experience anxiety to a certain degree; it’s a natural instinct, a useful tool in protecting ourselves from potential danger. Anxiety disorders are psychological conditions of which physical symptoms are the result of anxious feelings. Each disorder has a combination of physical symptoms which can include, but are not restricted to:
- Overthinking/ worrying
- Increased heart rate
- Separation anxiety
- Social anxiety
- Intrusive/ unpleasant thoughts
- Panic attacks
Anxiety Disorders amongst Millennials
Opinions vary when discussing what is to blame for the rise of anxiety disorders amongst young people, however a select few reasons come up again and again:
- Technology – Millennials live in an image-obsessed world, a culture which puts incredible significance in physical appearance. The rise of social media means it has never been easier to see how ‘the other half’ live, often with little acknowledgement of whether a photograph is an accurate representation of reality. This often leads to extreme analysis and inequitable comparison, making it unsurprising that so many young people are disgruntled with their own life.
- Education/ Career Pressure – When compared to the education system of our grandparents, exams generally occur more often and begin at an earlier age. Experiencing pressure and stress at a younger age can lead to anxiety later in life.
- Too Much Choice – A ‘First World Problem’ but a significant one. An abundance of choice, whether it be career-path or crisp packet flavour, leaves little room for mistake or ill-decision. The excessive number of decisions Millennials face results in pressure to constantly make the ‘correct choice’.
Lisa Cartlidge Hypnotherapy
Unlike traditional methods, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy focuses attention on an ideal and realistic future. Alternative approaches spend time geting to the ‘root’ of an issue before moving forward, time which in my opinion is wasted. Generally, reliving reasons will bring negative feelings back to the surface. Instead we should accept the past for what it is, learn from it and look forward.
Lisa Cartlidge asks questions which prompt the visualisation of a better state of mind, centering attention to solutions rather than reasons. Clients are encouraged to focus on positive aspects of their lives, often challenging for someone struggling with anxiety. When a visualisation of a happier life is combined with the relaxation of the hypnotic state, a shift of perspective occurs.
If you are struggling with anxiety, the main thing to remember is that it is a treatable condition – it can be controlled.
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