20s is the new 40s
02-07-2015 | Posted By: Admin | 764 View(s)
The world over, doctors, psychologists, therapists, parents, are warning about serious health issues affecting the young and the restless. These are ailments that 40-year-olds and above had a few years ago. But these days, a doctor’s waiting room is filled with people in the 20s and they are getting younger! This generation is having heart strokes, is high on antacids and antidepressants, suffers from insomnia, hypertension (HT) and is in very, very poor health.
ALARM BELLS RINGING
Such is the rate of alarm the world over that medical professionals have started reaching out to youngsters on Facebook and Twitter -platforms that don’t escape their eyes -to launch de-addiction and rehabilitation plans.
Dr Anjali Hooda Sangwan, the consultant for obesity, metabolic medicine and clinical nutrition, cites an example of what has become routine for her these days. “A 22-year-old guy came to see me the other day. His issue was weight gain. Further diagnosis disclosed hypertension, high BMI, acidity and sleep apnea. He was just one of the many 20-year-olds I see every day with lifestyle maladies.”
We keep hearing how the ’40s is the new 30s’ and `60s is the new 40s’; but health wise, it doesn’t look all that peachy. Says Dr Prerna Kohli, child psychologist, “Sadly, today’s 20 year-olds live for instant gratification. They want perfect lives, abundant money and brilliant relationships. Virtual reality is the real reality for them. And when this fails, they sink into a vicious web of frustration, anxiety and mental and physical breakdown.”
Research says that sleep disturbance -caused mainly due to excessive media use at night is also an important risk factor for the development of depression during adolescence and adulthood.
It is a familiar sight to see a group of youngsters bent over phones, posting pictures and commenting, and waiting for their friends to `like’ their work. “Even on a day when I’m not working, I check my phone at least 3-4 times in 15-minutes for updates. I am dependent on social media and can’t spend 10 minutes alone in a room. The thought of being alone gives me anxiety and sweaty palms!” says Surbhi Sen, 22, a social media manager. Deepak Kashyap, a counselling psychologist, says, “There are a higher number of reported cases of mood disorders and psychological distress amongst youngsters. The reason for this is a processed diet and the lack of physical activity and mental pressure arising out of extreme expectations and living out of a cell phone.”
The physical and mental ailments, according to experts, arises out of the fact that youngsters these days think they have had a privileged upbringing, and hence, they should achieve far more, in far lesser time than their earlier generation. They are taking loans, buying cars and other gadgets, leading jetsetting lives. They are also joining the workforce as early as 18, going for multiple relationships without having the patience to give enough time to their feelings. On top of that, they have very poor coping skills.Add that confusion to bad eating habits, late night partying or pressure at work and you have a recipe for a huge health disaster.
For instance, acid reflux in 20-year-olds is high! “There is an increase in youngsters who have just joined the workforce, coming for gastrointestinal problems. The commonest of which are acidity and frequent stomach infection,” informs Manjari Chandra, a therapeutic nutritionist. High aspirations, peer pressure, spending more than earnings, no time for exercise, partying through the week … all this puts the body in metabolic warfare and further leads to bigger issues like inflated BP levels.
“Young adults in the age bracket of 20-30 years are also reporting in large numbers to hospitals with HT. It’s scary because traditionally, HT or increased blood pressure is more of degenerative disease and happens to older adults as their arteries lose elasticity. But these days, it’s a result of a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise. Primarily, HT goes unchecked in the 20-25 age bracket, and it can be fatal,” adds Chandra.
The 20s has always been a crucial age. It’s the age where one leaves childhood and teenhood behind and starts to figure out the big picture. It’s a transitional phase, where one comes out of the cocoon of parents’ home and set peer groups to learn to deal with the real world. “There’s too much pressure on young minds and bodies. Emotionally, they are not able to face reality or deal with obstacles. They are on polar ends -with nothing in between,” says Bandana Jhanwar, psychotherapist. On the one hand, they are always anxious, looking for social approval and trying to prove self-worth, on the other, they are overworking, overexercising, overpaying in order to live an idolised, virtual life. The problem is that both are in equal danger. “Today’s kids should understand that the quality of life comes from how well you deal with the negatives. Plan your life out in small plates,” sums up Dr Kohli.
Source:Times of India,June 28, 2015