A new study found that five times as many high school and college students are facing anxiety and mental health issues than the same age group during the Great Depression. A psychological questionnaire from 1938 confirmed the belief among counselors that students are struggling with not only school but life in general more than in the past.

More students are anxious and depressed and the students are getting younger and younger. But why and how it can be fixed are questions facing experts. Although nothing is certain, they believe popular culture has increased the focus on external factors from wealth to looks and status which has contributed to greater mental health issues.

The United States has become much more materialistic over the decades. In the past, the man was the bread winner, the mother stayed at home to raise the children, they worked hard, and life wasn’t as fast paced. Families lived in modest homes and understood that the quality of life was more important than the number of items they had.

But now that’s completely changed. Students have to focus on having the nice cell phone, getting into the top colleges, paying bills, driving a new car, and becoming wealthy and successful in life. Not to mention that they have to be beautiful in order to be valued by society. But what students have to realize is that while it may be great to have a nice car it’s not necessary. What students need to understand is the difference between needs and wants.

Anxiety and depression continues to rise in students because of how the economy is affecting students and their families along with how fast paced life has become. This age group was raised with the idea that they could accomplish anything and now they are coming to realize that may not necessarily be true and they may never be able to succeed. And unfortunately the older they get the higher the expectations are set for them and they are struggling to keep up.

In today’s world success is dependent on the amount of money that you have. But in the past success was based on the type of life you lived and how many people you helped. Just look at the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Success in that movie is family, friends, and helping others. It didn’t matter that he was in debt or even about to go to prison because he had the things that mattered. But today we’re much more self-centered and those are the main reasons that students are facing so much stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

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