The Kids Are Definitely Not Alright
It's no surprise really to anyone in the U.S. that kids ages 2-18 are experiencing unprescedented mental health issues, ranging from ADHD to depression, to extreme anxiety, promiscuity, drug use, suicide, and violence. It's also no surprise that meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises have been proven to help manage negative decision-making. And it doesn't take a scientist to point out that the way things are right now really aren't making the significant change needed to turn around today's youth. There has to be a major shift in the way we deal with our emotions as a individuals, as an education system, and ultimately as a society.
Whether you are or aren't convinced that every kid needs the tools we present in HMHB, here is some research that provides an even more sobering look at the state of internal affairs in today's youth. After you read these 10 statistics, answer this question: If you, or your child's school, could give your child the independent tools to truly start erasing the negative emotions behind theses behaviors, would you?
- In an American Psychological Association survey, nearly one third of kids ages 8 to 17 said that they'd recently had health symptoms often associated with stress, such as headaches and stomachaches.
- Early life stress (ages 2, 3, 4) have been tied in various studies to later in life depression, anxiety, heart disease, cancer, and a lack of educational and employment success. A particular study published in the journal Biological Psychology in 2014 found children who had experienced neglect, abuse, or life in a low socioeconomic status household at an early age had developed physically smaller amygdale and hippocampal volumes.
- In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12-17 had had at least on major depressive episode in the past year according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30% girls and 20% boys- totaling 6.3 million teens- have had an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Experts suspect these statistics are on the low end of what's really happening, since many people do not seek medical help for anxiety and depression.
- In children, stress, anxiety, and ADHA can present behavioral issues ranging from anger, defiance, lethargy, and acting out. In a recent report released by the Center for Disease Control, more than 13% of American boys and than 5 % of American girls between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. A staggering 69% of these children are taking medication for ADHD.
- According to the Center for Disease Control, U.S. high school students surveyed in 2015 about sex and sexually transmitted diseases found this: 30% had had sexual intercourse during the previous 3 months, and, of these: 43% did not use a condom the last time they had sex. 14% did not use any method to prevent pregnancy 21% had drunk alcohol or used drugs before last sexual intercourse.
- Nearly 230,000 babies were born to teen girls aged 15–19 years in 2015. Reports indicate that there are approximately 1 million teenagers in America become pregnant each year. Of those, 78% are unintended. Of all the teenage women that become pregnant, 35% choose to have an abortion rather than bear a child.
- Young people (aged 13-24) accounted for an estimated 22% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2015.Among young people (aged 13-24) diagnosed with HIV in 2015, 81% were gay or bisexual males.Half of the nearly 20 million new STDs reported each year were among young people, between the ages of 15 and 24.
- In a 2011 nationally-representative sample of youth in grades 9-12 were surveyed on violence: 32.8% reported being in a physical fight in the 12 months preceding the survey; the prevalence was higher among males (40.7%) than females (24.4%). / 16.6% reported carrying a weapon (gun, knife or club) on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey; the prevalence was higher among males (25.9%) than females (6.8%). 5.1% reported carrying a gun on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey; the prevalence was higher among males (8.6%) than females (1.4%). / In 2010, 4,828 young people ages 10 to 24 were victims of homicide—an average of 13 each day. / Homicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24 years old.
- The Monitoring the Future Survey found a general decline in perceived risk of harm and disapproval of using a number of substances. For example, fewer 8th graders think that taking Ecstasy (MDMA) or synthetic cathinones ("bath salts") occasionally is harmful, and fewer report disapproval of taking Ecstasy or inhalants regularly. Among 10th graders, there was a decrease in the percentage of students who perceive a risk of harm from the following: found a general decline in perceived risk of harm and disapproval of using a number of substances: trying inhalants or synthetic cathinones once or twice, taking Crack, Vicodin®, or synthetic cathinones occasionally, using inhalants regularly. More young adults use prescription drugs nonmedically than any other age group.
A Seattle Children's Hospital study tracked instagram hashtags for two years and found a dramatic increase in talk about self harm. They got 1.7 million search results for "#selfharmmm" in 2014; by 2015 the number was more than 2.4 million.
If the answer to the question asked above is a "YES" we'd love to help you here at HMHB.
Time Magazine, November 7, 2016, "The Kids Are Not Alright" by Susanna Schrobsdorff
The Chopra Center, "How to Mange Stress, ADHD, and Anxiety for Children- Without Medication