In this time of uncertainty, with the fear of war, unprecedented ecological and health fears, tomorrow does not sing for our young people. The risks and doubts are so strong that the present itself seems confiscated from those growing up today.
Not being able to enjoy the moment with the lightness and carelessness necessary at this stage of life is painful. The uncertainties of current times plunge adolescents and their families into a seriousness that weighs down and confines the ideals and adolescent utopias, oh so necessary to build themselves and to invent possibilities.
Sufferings that are expressed through the body
The teenagers consult a lot with questions and sufferings which are expressed by the body. Starved body in anorexia-bulimia or extremely weighed down in obesity, mutilated body, body endangered by risks of all kinds. Whether by speed and the resulting accidents or by the intake of alcohol or toxic substances which launch them into frantic escalations in search of sensations and later anesthesia. Teenagers submit themselves to severe trials, true self-sabotage of their desires and life energy.
It is life itself that is at stake in suicide attempts in adolescence, which are even more numerous in France since the appearance of the Covid. When it is not the future and the link to the other that are attacked in school phobias, currently on the rise throughout Western Europe. These teenagers, after a sometimes minor event that has occurred at school or on the way to class, sometimes without any triggering factor being highlighted, can no longer assume their status as middle school or high school student: anxiety grips them at the very idea of getting ready to go to class and they sink into immeasurable anxiety, impossible to control.
The factors of this deeply contemporary disorder are multiple. Some have already been identified. Teenagers are sometimes weakened by our excessive expectations. We also observe factors of individual vulnerability, in particular among boys, or even pedagogical factors, with methods that profoundly defeat these adolescents in search of infinite recognition and a tyrannical ego ideal.
But other parameters remain to be identified and analyzed. And we see the appearance of new forms of expression of adolescent suffering: Internet addictions among some, who gradually withdraw from their family and school world to lock themselves in their rooms, riveted to their screens, which they use and abuse to stop thinking and extract themselves from relationships that hurt them and lose all meaning. Or these new forms of prepubescent anorexia that affect very young, intelligent and dynamic girls who refuse any sexual form. Gender is also one of the current places where these identity doubts are expressed.
We bet that this uncertainty will help them, despite everything, to act on the world.