ANXIETY — THAT FEELING OF DREAD, FEAR, WORRY AND PANIC — IS CERTAINLY NOTHING NEW.
Hippocrates wrote about it in the fourth century BCE. As did Søren Kierkegaard in the 1860s. And Sigmund Freud addressed the disorder in 1926.
ANXIETY AND GENERATION Y
So, what’s going on? The rise of technology, overly-protective parenting and “exam-factory” schooling are among the reasons psychologists suggest for our generational angst. Another, brought up on multiple occasions by my peers and by psychologists I spoke to, is the luxury (as ungrateful as it sounds) of too much choice.
Pieter Kruger, a London-based psychologist, says research indicates that people who feel they don’t have a choice are actually more resilient — mainly because they can blame life or others if they make a wrong decision. However, if you have a range of choices, you have no one to blame but yourself.
“We become much more obsessive because we want to make the right decision every time,” he says.
I spend a lot of time worrying about what I am going to do with my life. Previous generations had choice taken out of their hands. If you are told what to do it takes the pressure away.