Our young women are the intentional victims of cultural and psychological warfare.
A CDC study released back in February showed a disturbing trend in our teenage girls. They were given a battery of questions inquiring about mental health, sexual activity, drug use, and suicidality. Across the board, the negative trends increased between 2011-2021. Girls of every size, shape, and color reported poor mental health, more instances of sexual violence, higher drug use, and thoughts of ending their lives.
It is not for lack of parental monitoring or unstable households. Those trends were actually higher. Clinical psychologist Lisa Damour sums the dilemma up perfectly: “We’re raising the best-behaved generation of teenagers on record. They drive with seat belts, they smoke less, they have less sex, they wear helmets. They do all these things that we did not do.” And yet our teens are miserable. Why?
Social/Political Grooming to Keep Secrets From Parents
Teens, to their detriment, have always kept secrets from their parents. It used to be that the moral lesson learned from this sort of subversion was that the consequences were disastrous. However, this generation is being trained to keep secrets from their parents. They can change their gender and their school will help them hide it. They can have different personas online and their parents are unaware. They have strangers soliciting their secrets because their parents couldn’t possibly understand.
It’s social, cultural, and political grooming. Keeping a secret from your parents heightens anxiety, breaks trust, and fractures families. Yet it’s encouraged as good. After all, pursuing individual autonomy, according to the Left, is the summit of all virtues.
The Reverse Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Insight
In an extremely fascinating article in The Free Press, Jonathan Haidt, author and professor at NYU, examines the overall decline in mental health that he and his friend Greg Lukianoff have been researching for their books and articles on this subject.
The biggest standout was this insight from The Free Press about the cancel culture on college campuses:
Greg is prone to depression, and after hospitalization for a serious episode in 2007, he learned CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). In CBT you learn to recognize when your ruminations and automatic thinking patterns exemplify one or more of about a dozen “cognitive distortions,” such as catastrophizing, black-and-white thinking, fortune telling, or emotional reasoning. Thinking in these ways causes depression as well as being a symptom of depression. Breaking out of these painful distortions is a cure for depression. What Greg saw in 2013 were students justifying the suppression of speech and the punishment of dissent using the exact distortions that Greg had learned to free himself from.
In other words, these kids were being told that disagreements with their thinking was equivalent to hate, that their emotions were the best guides in a situation, and that words can literally kill. It is reverse or counter-cognitive behavioral therapy. Because these thinking patterns are nurtured, it sends the thinker deeper into depression.
Another point Haidt makes is when he quotes journalist Matt Yglesias: “progressive institutional leaders have specifically taught young progressives that catastrophizing is a good way to get what they want.”
As an aside, this author spoke to a behaviorist who uses CBT who confided that it’s a very effective tool but can cause great harm if used in its reverse form.
This reverse CBT has actually caused liberal girls to spiral into mental disorder faster than every other group. However, all our children, specifically in Gen Z and younger, are being systemically disempowered. They are inculcated with counter-CBT and slowly driven mad. They are convinced everything and everyone is against them and they have no hope and no chance.
According to The Washington Post, “Students who are LGBTQ face some of the highest rates of depressive symptoms and sexual violence, including rape. In 2021, nearly 1 in 4 reported an attempt to take their life.” This is particularly sad because people who identify as LGBTQ+ are also told that they are victims and oppressed. This is a negative thought pattern; what Lukianoff referred to as a cognitive distortion is both emotional reasoning and black-and-white thinking. In other words, the messaging feeds the beast and kids become more depressed.
Mental Illness Is Trendy
Adults have created this façade that everything has to feel good. Any negative feeling needs a diagnosis. In many cases, kids are overdiagnosed.
That is not to say that there aren’t real mental illnesses. There are and they persist. However, thanks to social media like Instagram and TikTok, teens have discovered that it’s trendy to have a mental illness diagnosis. In fact, some kids see going to the mental hospital as a badge of honor or a rite of passage.
The Social Slavery of the Digital Age and the Decline of Meaningful Friendships
Gen Z is the second generation to be raised in the digital age. They are the generation of the iPad, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. The Free Press article also discusses the data that a researcher was writing about for an upcoming book. More than any other correlation, the use of phones for social interactions coincided with the rapid decline in women’s mental health.
Liberal teen girls are by far the most likely to report that they spend five or more hours a day on social media (31% in recent years, compared to 22% for conservative girls, 18% for liberal boys, and just 13% for conservative boys). Being an ultra-heavy user means that you have less time available for everything else, including time “in real life” with your friends.
Spending that much time on the phone also means exposure to bad ideas (critical race theory, radical gender theory, witchcraft), filters that promote an unrealistic beauty standard and feed into feminine insecurity, and destructive trends like TikTok challenges. And they are addicted. It’s extremely difficult for them to stop going back to the apps that continue to worsen their mental health.
Decline of Religion
The Free Press talks about how Gen Zers more than any generation before is bombarded with messages and ideas that give them an external locus of control (i.e., they feel like there is nothing they can do and that powers much bigger than them have taken away their control). This feeling of helplessness is compounded by the shattering of many very important tethers such as religion and community.
Faith in a God outside ourselves that empowers us to do good for others and ourselves actually helps restore individual agency and gives hope, peace, and moral structure. It brings order to chaos.
This heightening of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation among teens and young adult women is complex. There isn’t a simple fix or a simple way to prevent our girls from this suffering. Ultimately, these young women need to have their purposes, positions, and identity given back to them, and that can only be achieved by reversing the damage that grooming, technology, and psychological disempowerment has wrought and by returning/discovering the healing power of faith in God.
- mental health
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