Thousands of young people are very worried and seeking counselling from the NSPCC’s Childline for unbearable levels of anxiety. Almost 12,000, to be exact. This isn’t funny: mental health issues in young people should always be taken very seriously, not least because they may unleash all manner of other demons – depression, loneliness, anorexia and even suicide. Lots of young people kill themselves because of anxiety and depression, which are symptoms of a broken mind. Or are they a cause? It’s hard to know, or tell, or even bother when the Black Dog prowls. It’s worse than a broken arm: a lot worse. What’s the mental equivalent of a plaster cast? Whatever it is, young minds sometimes need one. So do quite a few adult minds, if they can be honest about it.
The causes of anxiety in children and young people are manifold and complex – cyber bullying, parents divorcing, relationships ending, coping with global warming or the day-to-day drudge of just living. The most recent spike in young people seeking counselling is attributed in part to the rise of the extreme-left Jeremy Corbyn; unbearable expressions of anti-Semitism from Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition; the dreadful prospect of the land of the free being ruled by ‘crooked’ Hillary Clinton, and the realisation that the United Kingdom is still shackled to the undemocratic European Union a whole four months after the nation clearly voted to leave. Four months is a long time to a young person. It’s an eternity to a depressed one.
O, hang on..
Sorry, it’s “the rise of Donald Trump” and “concerns about Brexit” which are causing eight-year-olds to seek counselling. Dame Esther Rantzen, president of Childline, said: “At Childline we know children and young people are sometimes frightened and distressed by events in the wider world. Often we fail to notice the impact these stories are having on young people.”
Funny, isn’t it, how children and young people are traumatised by evil Republicans, Tories and freedom-loving Brexiteers; not by the united halo of Democrats, Marxists or democracy-denying Remainers. Is it the way they’re taught or by whom they’re taught? Is it the fin de siècle narrative they choose to swallow or the media narrative they have rammed down their throats?
Is there really anything in contemporary British politics more frightening and distressing than the sheer incompetence of Jeremy Corbyn and the total meltdown of the Labour Party as an effective parliamentary opposition? Why is the childhood-anxiety apocalypse all so very ‘right wing’? Why is the mental salvation of young people contingent on the success of Jeremy Corbyn, the election of Hillary Clinton and the political imperative of remaining in the EU? Why is the terrestrial reign of justice inseparable from leftism?
These are dark and bloody times: Dies irae, dies illa… defeat, despair, conflict, terrorism, persecution, insecurity… the Day of the Lord is imminent. Has anyone called Childline fretting about the rise of the Antichrist and the imminent Second Coming of Jesus?