The most common mental disorders among young people are anxiety and depression. The rates of these disorders have been increasing for over 50 years and are mainly diagnosed in high school and college students. This is more evident from the study that was conducted by Jean Twenge at San Diego State University. The study reveals that an increase in the rate of depression and anxiety in young people is due to how they view the world and not how it actually is.
How is this brought about?
1. Decline of free play among children
In the past, children were allowed to play freely with adults supervision, this allowed them to explore different aspects of life, equipping them with necessary knowledge and skills for pursuing their own interest, solving their own problems, developing their own interest, and being in charge of their own lives. However, this has changed with the current generation, children come from school, they do their homework, help with the house chores, and have no time to play and discover what really interest them.
2. Misplaced priorities
This is well explained using the shift from intrinsic goals to extrinsic goal theory. It states that people who have intrinsic goals are more competent and always strive to have moral life. On the other hand, those with extrinsic goals are materialistic and attention seekers. Young people today are driven by extrinsic goals, making them develop depression and anxiety. Most college students are only interested in financial gains and they will stop at nothing to achieve this. This has made them lose their sense of identity, as they engage in immoral activities as well.
3. Lack of personal self-control over destiny
It is also evident that people who lack control over their own fate are more likely to develop anxiety and depression. People who are in control of their lives always have a purpose for their life. This can be explained using internal-external locus of control scale. Internal locus of control represents people who have control of their own life while external locus of control represents those who think they are victims of circumstances.