Anxiety is the evolutionary survival instinct wired into our brains that allows us to adapt to dangerous situations. In essence, it’s there to help us survive. But it becomes a problem when it no longer allows us to adapt – when it actively interferes with our ability to function.
With baseball season starting this Sunday, the recent case of Texas Rangers’ infielder Khalil Greene is a perfect example. This is a man whose livelihood is completely based around his ability to perform on the baseball diamond, yet Greene recently contacted his team and told them he’d be unable to report for spring training due to his struggles with social anxiety disorder, which is an extreme fear of social situations. He was consequently cut from the team. Without treatment, maladaptive anxiety can have costly outcomes- in this case it may have cost Greene his career.
Media expert Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, answers your questions about media use. Last week, he discussed speech delays.
Here’s this week’s question:
Vexed About Vampires in Glencoe, IL …
That’s what a recent study is claiming. This study found that five times as many high school and college students are dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues as youth of the same age who were studied in the Great Depression era.
Other stories we’ve been reading:
More high school athletes are using fitness supplements with knowledge of their harmful effects. Parents don’t have to be fit in order for their kids to be fit – supporting your kids’ physical activity is what motivates them to be physically fit.
Parents who feel burned out at work are more likely to have kids who feel burned out at school. If parents use complementary or alternative therapies, their children are more likely to use them too. [Read our blog post on insurance coverage for alternative therapies.] Did you know that your child is more likely to have a mental disorder if you –as a parent – are bipolar?
High cholesterol is putting 20 percent of teens at risk for heart disease. Healthy kids are more likely to die from ecstasy use than regular drug users. If your child smokes cigarettes, it’s much more likely that pot is next.
Toilet seat dermatitis is on the rise. Vaccinating babies against rotavirus could save two million lives a year. [Read our blog post on this year’s updated immunization schedule.] Female teachers might pass on math anxiety to girl students.