Anxiety.

pattycakes_

Well-known member
Mental health dysfunction has gone up roughly x4 in teens since I started teaching (and no, it's not my fault). Something fucked is happening.
it's these non quantifiable factors that those smug studies ignore.

but it's the internet that did it.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
The two youngest of my siblings were in school when they started rolling out iPads and both of them said it facilitated bullying and blurred the home/school divide. I guess it was partly to prep them for a world where you're expected to answer emails and keep your phone on at all times.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
I'm not sad, I'm just depleted. that's why comfort music never appealed to me. there are two types of depression. mines the depleted kind. It's not that I'm suicidal after event triggers, I just don't really care all that much about life and that is constantly the nagging thought in my head. my anxiety is a don't give a fuck kind. it's a hard feeling to explain. that's why I embrace it, take controlover it, try to take ownership of it. because if nihilism is where all roads end (even those of the revolutionary) then it's necessary to disrupt people as much as possible.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
it might be a question of illness or other types of disorder (attention deficit, dyslexia etc) getting identified quicker or named where before a kid was just deemed disruptive or "a bad kid", or withdrawn, introverted, etc

and doctors possibly being quicker to prescribe drugs as a solution

at the same time, kids do seem to be a lot more anxious about everything

i mean, i remember being worried, nervous, cripplingly shy etc as a teenager - it's a traumatic time - but not to the point of dysfunction or self-harm.

but that kind of thing - self-harm, suicide attempts (and the odd actual suicide), kids seeing therapists etc - seems to be rife among the age group of my kids.

again perhaps it's something to do with the helicopter-style over-parenting that both makes kids less able to cope by themselves, but also encourages parents to fret, cough up money for therapy, etc

but i don't think it's entirely that - it's the culture, it's phones and social media, it's the lack of positive images of the future, ambient fear

well my generation had the nuclear bomb - and already in the 1970s worries about overpopulation, resources depletion, pollution, etc

but it all seems a lot more urgent and imminent, the impending cataclysm
Yes to all of this.

Although, I would add that when I was a teenager in the 90s, depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide were part of the cultural moment, not the part I had anything to do with, but it was definitely important and visible: Kurt Cobain, The Cult of Richey, 'Creep', Prozac Nation, etc. Some of it was real, some of it was affectation, but even before Instagram it had cultural currency and was tied up in self-fashioning, imagery, and projection.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Two sides of the same coin?

"Scientifically speaking, anxiety and excitement have a lot in common.

The racing heart, stomach butterflies, and sweaty palms we feel when anxiety hits are physical symptoms of nervous system activation, also known as the fight-or-flight response.

Here’s the science behind it: when our brains detect a threat, our nervous system triggers physical symptoms in an effort to keep us safe. Our hearts race so we can run from danger, our stomachs feel queasy because our bodies are slowing down digestion, and our palms sweat in an attempt to keep us cool."
Question: does exciting music have be in some way anxious?
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
Tension is one of the most important ingredients in the musical cookbook.
It’s how chord progressions work. Even in ostensibly non angsts things like beach boys ‘god only knows’ or ‘easy’ by thecomodorres the chord progressions are just setting up tensions so that the music can release it.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
It’s also how syncopation works. I remember being really annoyed reading the term “rhythmic dissonance” as I thought I’d coined it. But basically the back beat acts as a resolve and syncopation as the tension.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
Hip hop’s coolness vs jungle or dancehall’s Up in the airness. Rap has backbeats, whereas jungle and dancehall skirt around them. The keep you on your toes.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I guess I was thinking more of music that is explicitly exciting - jungle, grime etc.

You might say that techno, e.g. (and jungle and grime too for that matter) is less exciting now because it's less anxiety inducing - because we have heard it all before. There's less tension.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Makes me wonder (I'll be shot down for this but it's a sort of thought experiment) if, in the comparatively safe and dull West, anxiety is being generated in lieu of excitement.

24/7 entertainment in theory should mean 0 boredom. But in practice perhaps it means a different sort of boredom.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Well for a long time excitement was generated by culture in response to a dominant feeling of boredom, especially among young people. But now that over-stimulus is the problem rather than boredom, perhaps excitement can't be processed in the same way (at least not always). Or overstimulus and boredom ultimately become the same thing, except that in the overstimulated state, excitement can no longer be an escape route. So it gets stored as anxiety.

Haven't thought this through.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
There's an argument that this stuff leads to Fight Club. People beating each other to a pulp in an attempt to deal with boredom and ennui. Likewise gambling, thrill seeking and all the other stuff we've been discussing. People injecting the friction, the risk, into a life which no longer has any.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
If you've ever seen a dog with stomach ache, they often end up frantically digging, running from to room and acting very strangely because they're scared and confused and trying to do something to alleviate the symptoms.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Weren't Ballard's final works to do with rich people turning to violence out of boredom? Something about crime in gated communities.
 

kumar

Well-known member
Makes me wonder (I'll be shot down for this but it's a sort of thought experiment) if, in the comparatively safe and dull West, anxiety is being generated in lieu of excitement.

24/7 entertainment in theory should mean 0 boredom. But in practice perhaps it means a different sort of boredom.
This does seem to be a particularly recentish development though, safe and dull and comparatively comfortable living standards haven’t changed a huge amount between lots of young people and their parents generation. If you’re 18 now and your parents were born in the early 70s they may well have sort of grown up with channel 4 , trainers, rap music etc . Some of the younger lads at work say that they don’t like raves cos that’s what their parents were into. Maybe the idea that certain formerly exciting escape routes might have narrowed is widely implicit. Less drinking drug taking etc.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
The internet and gaming seem like two, but you may well be 'escaping' into another trap/prison.
 
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