New research from Pew Research on social trends says teens see anxiety and depression are on the rise and 7 in 10 see it as a major problem among their peers. This concern about mental health crosses gender, racial and socio-economic lines with equal demographic groups say it is a significant issue in their community. Roughly 96% of teens surveyed saw it as a major or minor problem, compared with 90% that said bullying, 86% that said drug addiction and 84% that said drinking alcohol.
Much of the pressure teens face is due to academics. 61% of teens say they feel a lot of pressure to get good grades compared to only 29% to look good and 28% to fit in socially. Much of the pressure to do well in school is tied to their post-graduation plans, about six in ten plan on attending a four-year college.
At Gobi we see many, many families whose teens are struggling with anxiety and depression by smoking weed. At this point, there is no credible evidence that marijuana is anything more than a short-term fix AND it’s expensive. On the other hand, there is clinical evidence that meditation, yoga, exercise, playing music or taking a walk are beneficial in dealing with both anxiety and depression. These are healthy choices and are much less expensive than buying and self-medicating with pots.
The best part of the survey said that 60% of teens say they get a hug or a kiss from their parents every day. That is behaviour we can support.