Most of us, young and old, were stunned by the tragic death of Kobe Bryant along with his daughter. Whether you are a Laker’s fan or not, Kobe represented something more, including for young people.
Tom Brady said it this way in a Twitter statement:
“And in this tragedy, I have learned so much.
When you’re 17 years old, breaking up with someone really, really hurts.
Yeah, that’s a cliché. So much so that almost every adult can think of a favorite popular culture reference to this particular kind of pain. My personal favorite occurs at the heartbreaking beginning of Nick Hornby’s novel, High Fidelity.
Emily, a college freshman, strolls from her dorm to her biology class and en route, she calls her mother so that she doesn’t appear aimless and lonely as she passes by her peers. She barely notices that almost all them are also on their cell phones.
Mental health problems among young people are on the rise. Recent studies show that depression, anxiety, suicide and loneliness are escalating, and that Generation Z is struggling now more than ever before.
The good news is that more young people are openly talking about emotional and behavioral challenges.
Teens and young adults today are more stressed, anxious, depressed and lonely than ever – at least in the United States. At first glance, it’s hard to wrap your head around this fact.
No one really knows the root cause, but it seems to be a perfect storm of several factors.
There’s an understandable tendency to portray Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in films. Silver Linings Playbook, Fatal Attraction, and Girl Interrupted are just a few.
It makes sense.
It seems the opposite of what most folks would think, but more and more surveys are finding that teenagers and young adults today may be lonelier than any other age group – even older adults. If young people are in high school or college, around friends, playing sports, or at home with family, it just doesn’t seem to make sense.
“He is playing games all the time. Every chance he gets! From the time he gets home until bedtime, he’s in his room on that computer. And spends almost no time with the family. Is he addicted? I’m really worried.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this or some variation of this complaint from parents.
We are now in what I believe is the 19th annual “Screen-Free Week” in the United States and abroad. This is a much publicized and highly laudable movement that asks us to take a week—an entire week—to get our children to unplug whatever they happen to own with a screen.
For more information about eating disorders and ways you can help make a difference for a young person in your life, or for yourself, please visit NEDA the National Eating Disorder Association website.