It was all quite telling. It would be an understatement to say that our nation was anxious as last November’s Presidential election arrived. Social media, water-cooler, and family dinner table conversations were all windows into the anxiety and nervousness we all felt as we faced the inevitability of wandering as a nation into uncharted cultural territory.
But smack-dab in the midst of all this, Time magazine’s cover wasn’t – as I would have put my money on – about politics. Time ran a cover story that they felt at the time was bigger news that the election. The topic? Teenagers and anxiety.
The issue of teenagers and anxiety is certainly one that deserves the attention of all of us who care about kids. We must be endeavoring to understand the causes and remedies. As followers of Christ, how are we to look at, understand, and respond to the issue of anxiety, not only in our kids, but in our adult selves? It seems to me that our approach can and should be nuanced as we address the issue as a spiritual rather than solely a mental health problem. Yes, we can garner lot’s of helpful insights in to causes and cures from the secular mental health community. Remember. . . there is such a thing as common grace and all truth is God’s truth. In other words, don’t discount non-sectarian insights and wisdom.
Here at CPYU, we’re on a quest to go deeper into our understanding of this cultural epidemic of anxiety. As part of this endeavor, we are looking at everything we can find in order to learn as much as we can in order to be so well-informed that we will be able to point you to God-honoring/kid-helping responses. Next week, we’ll be recording a “Youth Culture Matters” podcast with a respected counselor who will give us insights into a biblically-informed understanding of anxiety. That podcast will be out in a couple of weeks.
Until then, I’m passing on this helpful infographic on teen anxiety. Check it out. While it doesn’t come from a perspective that I would classify as complete, it is a helpful starting point. Give it a good look and then keep your ears and eyes open to how anxiety might be a part of the lives of the kids you know and love. Then, stay tuned. . . .