Youth with anxiety disorder

A doctor from Saint John is ringing alarm bells over the fact that he is seeing more patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders. The patients he’s diagnosing aren’t of all age categories though. Dr. Mike Simon is treating more youth than ever before. He recently told his story to CBC, and the most alarming part is that he says the problem could get worse.

Safety nets hindering kids

Dr. Simon says that he breaks the age categories up into college students, high school students, and youths younger than that.

While he states that anxiety often appears in high school, many youths seek treatment after they’ve left for college. Simon says that teenagers often have a structure and routine they stick to when they’re at home throughout high school and that changes once they leave for post-secondary.

“They’ve gone away to college, it’s their first time away from home and they’re exposed to things that they’re not practiced to deal with. And by that I mean all responsibilities; maybe the courses, the tests, the papers, to get home at a certain time, to have the meals at a certain time, not party, to get up and get to class. All of these things, they’ve never had this amount of freedom before. They perform poorly, they don’t do well and they come home that’s when their parents bring them in to see me,” said Simon. “They don’t learn the skills for the hard times.”

“You talk to teachers and how many times do parents come in when their kid has a bad mark or doesn’t perform well … it’s the teachers fault for marking wrong or marking harder,” he said in an interview Information Morning Saint John.

He continued, “They haven’t failed on their own and dealt with the repercussions.”

A generational change

Dr. Simon said that kids aren’t learning the skills that were taught to kids before social media.

“Thirty years ago, I didn’t see as much of this stuff,” he said.

Something needs to change

Simon believes that if the problem isn’t fixed it’s only going to get worse.

How exactly do you fix it? Simon says that by airing his message and talking to parents is the key thing.