I’m not a psychologist, don’t quote me as such. But I have thoughts and ideas since you’re here i’m assuming you want to hear em so let’s spill the beans. On a macro level I’ve noticed that there’s a rise in mental health issues but on a more micro level among my friends I’ve learned that there’s a Huuuuuug *Trump voice* rise in anxiety. I’m not here to pull stats out of my ass and pretend that i’ve done extensive research, you can go read some other blog or textbook for that. As a curious person I decided: why not ask people why anxiety is on the rise and I even talked to some of my friends that go through it. I was able to have a few conversations and even run a poll asking people “why is there a rise in anxiety?” I came to a weird yet strangely obvious answer, both linked to the idea of perfection…social media and family dynamics. Yes those are the 2 main reasons everyone is anxious. I hope some sociology and psychology majors are doing research on these two factors because it’s clear as hell.
For Social media it makes all kinds of sense…just to give y’all a prefix, I’m not talking about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) cause you need a doc to give that title i’m talking about day to day anxiety that would and could be seen as “normal”. Social media makes sense (i’ve written several times about it) because every day we try to put out an image of the best version of ourselves and send an illusion of perfection. People literally delete entire galleries of pictures because of a low amount of likes…its pathetic, but it contributes to the idea that “if i’m not perfect, i’m not needed”. You understand what kind of pressure and stress that puts on someone? When you look at another IG pic of someone’s perfect relationship, vacation and adventures you feel some type of way. Self doubt, perfectionism, self-conscious, excessive worry about how you’re perceived within the platform you express yourself in…all of those are signs of anxiety. When everyones life looks fuckin blessed what are you gonna do? Compare and feel anxious about your own.
With the poll I did, I found that family dynamics was the second highest reason why our generation is more anxious, this surprised me. So I went into deep thought and looked at reasons why this was picked…For the most part, my friends answered the poll. Most of my friends have divorce in their family (including me) so the family dynamic is not “typical” or “normal” whatever the hell normal means nowadays. Then it lead me to think: what is a normal family dynamic? Especially in Canada, and even more among minorities (most of my friends aren’t white). I found out that common law marriages are on the rise in Canada, second marriages are common and the nuclear family prototype is slowly being phased out. How does this cause anxiety? Cause we live in a society where what we see represented as “perfect”, the wife, husband and kids prototype isn’t a reality! How would you feel if everyday they ask you about your father and you aint seen that man in 16 years? How would you feel if they asked about your biological parents but you’ve been adopted? How would you feel about having step siblings you hate or have never even meet? Anxious. The media and society has lied to us and pressed us on the idea of “perfection” that doesn’t exist in the world we live in.
Those are the reasons everyone has anxiety.