Anxiety and Care

Nayabimarsha (Weekly Newspaper from Nepal)

In these past few months I have been reading up on some problems associated with the pandemic. A very disturbing fact in this world is that almost 46,000 adolescents die from suicide each year. What terrifying statistics! and what a staggering loss of live! When you consider that all life is precious, it is something to be enjoyed and lived to its full. Each day is that gift of life. However, when the balance of the mind is of center then the consequences can be disastrous. Mental health is one of the top five causes especially among the young people to commit suicide. Unfortunately, one of the results of the pandemic is that young and old people have been isolating and living away from other people. This has sadly added to the problem for young people in general as they become more and more isolated. Between the periods when schools were closed to most pupils, symptoms of depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were found to have significantly increased in children aged between 7 and 12 years old. Mental instability increased in 6 to 16 year old children, rates had increased from 11.6% in 2020 to 17.4% 2021, among 17 to 19 year old young people, rates had increased from 10.1% to 17.4% across the world.
What can we do to help the young people in our society? Children can feel anxious about different things and at different times of their lives. Many of these worries are a normal part of growing up. So don’t panic, understand that this is normal and talk to the child. Make sure they understand that many people can become anxious and worried and it is ok to share about it. Make sure they feel loved and listened to, that you care about them.
Anxiety only becomes a problem for children when it starts to get in the way of their everyday life. Being anxious before an exam is normal but when it encroaches – that they can’t do the exam or can’t get to school that day, then it is a problem. This is where parents and teachers need to encourage and build the confidence of the young people in their charge. The child needs to understand that doing their best is what is important rather than being first in the exam. Also helping them to see the value of the life they have. Remind them that it is a good thing to be themselves, they are individuals and that is fine. Young people also need to understand that they are loved and cared for. They are important just for being themselves. Many times young people don’t want to talk about their problems. They go away and hide in their rooms, play video games etc. They shut down emotionally and don’t communicate with their friends and peers. However, talking is good for them, it will help them express their emotions and feelings. The apostle Peter say in 1 Peter 5 v 7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” He encourages young and old to talk to God. The word casting just means sharing with God what is troubling you. Telling God your problems and your worries. Talking to him as a friend and confidant. Then Peter tells us why we should talk to God, because God cares for us. God has a love for his creation, he is interested in them. God is a personal God who cares for you.

P. Pilgrim

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