Clueless teens guide to dating

28-Jan-2020 14:37 by 9 Comments

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Yale professor Bill Deresiewicz has characterised the current generation of high-achieving students as "excellent sheep", haunted by a fear of failure yet clueless about where they're going.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't query whether there are things going on to do with the way we live our lives.

A Girl Guides' attitudes survey found that mental health was one of the most pressing concerns, with 62 per cent of those surveyed knowing a girl their age who has struggled with mental-health problems.

Mental illness can feel like a personal indictment to parents.

But there's no point in parents blaming themselves: mental illness is caused by a combination of factors and it can strike anywhere.

Being middle class, affluent, in a two-parent household, loved, cherished, and successful at school is no guarantee of anything.

Rates of depression and anxiety among teenagers have increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years.

The number of children and young people turning up in A&E with a psychiatric condition has more than doubled since 2009 and, in the past three years, hospital admissions for teenagers with eating disorders have also almost doubled.

With celebrities (Stephen Fry, Ruby Wax, Alastair Campbell) increasingly talking openly about their own mental illnesses, there is much greater awareness than there used to be and correspondingly less stigma, making it easier for teenagers to acknowledge their problems.

This undoubtedly skews the figures (insofar as there are figures: we were very bad at measuring young people's mental health in the past).

Unhappiness and depression are concentrated in highly unequal societies.

In his book The Happiness Industry, William Davies assembles evidence (including from Wilkinson and Pickett in The Spirit Level and Carles Muntaner of the World Health Organisation) to demonstrate that strongly materialist and competitive values lead to higher levels of mental distress.

It is known that children who are looked after by their local authority are particularly susceptible and, conversely, that there are protective factors linked to a stable home life.

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