Saturday, 12 October 2019

Parent's Just Don't Understand

As i get older i do find myself saying the things which my parents said like 'she should put on some more clothes' when a young girl walks by in a skimpy dress on a cold night and don't even get me started on today's music.
The truth is that today's youth has got it much harder than we ever did with, if we had social media back when i was a teenager then one look at my Facebook page back then would have seen me shunned by polite society and banished to the unemployment queue until i reached retirement age.
Luckily it wasn't and my teenage indiscretions are lost in the mists of time and my bare-faced lying so we never had the pressures teenagers have today with their mood swings, obsessive crushes and social anxiety played out in front of the whole World on social media.
Where the only place we wrote that we loved Roger Taylor from Duran Duran for example was the margin of our Maths exercise book, now it is on the internet and that crap never goes away, ten years time when you are sitting in an interview you know that the prospective employer has looked up your Facebook profile and knows, and you know he knows that not only did you had a thing for 80s drummers but he has read your poems about loneliness and how you hoped a bus runs over Jason Clark because he said he couldn't go see Footloose with you as he was going to see his Grandma that evening but was actually seen in the Wimpy with Karen Fisher that night. The Bastard.
Anyway, according to a report, a staggering 49.5% of today's kids aged 13-17 meet the diagnostic criteria for mental health disorders, with 31.9% of them experiencing anxiety disorders, 22% of the kids in that study classified as exhibiting severe impairment or distress, and 42% met the criteria for a second disorder.
That's a lot of teenagers but the usual response by cranky old farts of my generation is to 'get over it' and to promise that 'If you think it's tough now, wait until you get older' which is nonsense.
If you think it gets tough as you turn into adulthood then you are not doing adulthood right as the National Institute of Mental Health reports that 25.8% of people aged 18-25 suffer from mental illness, and that number plummets as people get older, with those over age 50 reporting a much reduced 13.8%.
As you get older you develop your own coping strategies so somebody having their 200th panic attack at age 40 knows how to cope with it better than a 14-year-old having their first or second one.
As bad as things seem now, they will get better or at the very least you will be better equipped to handle them and you will look back at the crush on new wave band members with a smile and feel quite glad that the number X400 didn't roll over Jason Clark, mostly because you saw him recently and he is now fat, practically bald and was wearing a purple shell suit and nothing cheers you up more than seeing the boy who spurned you 35 years ago and the film Footloose is bloated, hairless and clad from head to toe in cheap, nylon sportswear.

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