In 2018, Pew Research polled 920 Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 to learn about the concerns faced by Generation Z, defined as those born roughly between 1995 and 2015. The survey found a generation less hedonistic, better behaved and lonelier than previous generations.
Anxiety is defined by the American Psychological Association as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes, such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.” People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns and may avoid certain situations out of worry about what could happen.
A full 70% of respondents called anxiety and depression a “major issue” among their peers. In a Harris poll, 91% of Gen Z respondents reported feeling some physical or emotional symptoms from stress.
According to the Child Mind Institute, nearly 1 in 3 adolescents will meet criteria by the time they’re 18 for an anxiety disorder, which includes generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or social phobias. And the incidence of anxiety more than doubles from the age of 13 to 18. High school students today have more anxiety symptoms and are twice as likely to see a mental health professional as teens in the 1980s.
“Anxiety is the number one thing I see people for,” says Tracy Hansen with Fraser Ltd.’s Valley Hope Counseling.