Ep 207: Anxiety and the Communication Tools to Fix It
Nowadays, kids have 24 hour access to the internet—meaning they can scroll through pictures of perfect models on Instagram, check the ever-terrifying news or log on to a chatroom with random strangers at any time of the day! And while this allows them to connect with others and learn more about the world, it can also lead to an overwhelming level of exposure to everything from cyberbullying to predators. Without parents there to steer them clear of danger, are kids bound to get into trouble?
Not to mention that constant use of the internet–especially social media–can have seriously adverse effects on a kid's mental health. The perpetual pressure to live up to the images of perfection they see online has been linked to sky-rocketing growth in depression and anxiety disorders among kids. And it’s young women in particular who face the most expectations online–the expectation to be sexual without being too sexual, the need to have the perfect body, and the constant fear that they aren’t going to fit in with all their other peers.
So how can we help girls who are struggling with the stressors of being online? We’re asking Donna Jackson Nakazawa, author of Girls on the Brink: Helping Our Daughters Thrive in an Era of Increased Anxiety, Depression, and Social Media. Donna is a science journalist who’s written for Wired, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and more! She’s also a mom, and was inspired to dive deeper into girls' mental health when she saw how much her daughter was affected by the perils of the online world.
In our interview, we’re discussing how estrogen and the female immune system contribute to the development of mental health disorders among young girls, especially in our modern, media-driven world. Plus, how adverse childhood experiences affect kids into adulthood, and what we can say to help our teen girls feel supported during this stressful time...