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For complete access, we encourage you to become a subscriber. Still, the number of distressed young people is on the rise, experts say, and they are trying to figure out how best to help.
Teen minds have always craved stimulation, and their emotional reactions are by nature urgent and sometimes debilitating.
“If you wanted to create an environment to churn out really angsty people, we’ve done it,” says Janis Whitlock, director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery.
Sure, parental micromanaging can be a factor, as can school stress, but Whitlock doesn’t think those things are the main drivers of this epidemic.
The biggest variable, then, is the climate in which teens navigate this stage of development.
They are the post-9/11 generation, raised in an era of economic and national insecurity.
It’s a phenomenon that cuts across all demographics–suburban, urban and rural; those who are college bound and those who aren’t.
She just couldn’t bear seeing the worry on their faces. Self-harm, which some experts say is on the rise, is perhaps the most disturbing symptom of a broader psychological problem: a spectrum of angst that plagues 21st century teens.