More Anxiety Thoughts

A little while back I wrote a blog entry about a young woman going to the ER for a panic attack. I ended with these thoughts:

Here are my questions:

– Why are young people going to the ER for panic attacks?

– Why are so many young people having panic attacks and anxiety?

I don’t know the answer to the first question. I think I know a partial answer to the second…..technology. I recommend the book Digital Minimalism for anyone who agrees with me and has this same problem. And I think chronic weed may be an issue as well.

Since then I found this article, which is about a year old. It’s called More kids are showing up in ERs with mental health crises. Here is what was found:

In 2012, they found, 50.4 emergency department visits per 100,000 visits by children were for mental health-related concerns. By 2016, mental health was the cause for 78.5 emergency department visits per 100,000 children.

That’s a 50% increase. Personally, in my small practice (600 patients), I see young people all the time for anxiety and depression. It’s an epidemic. I still believe weed has something to do with it but I believe technology is even more causative. I won’t go into a debate or detail here but technology disrupts dopamine balance in the brain and that may be playing a major part. Just look at this article in Nature where they conclude that “there appears to be an imbalance in dopaminergic receptor and transporter expression related to suicide that differs from that associated with ELA or age”.

Something is going on and I am worried.

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