According to a new study from Stockholm University, nearly every third 16-year-old in Sweden studying his or her first year at “gymnasiet” suffers from severe stress syndrome. According to the study, 8 percent of today’s 16-year-olds have severe stress-related problems. The increasing stress has to do with, among other things, the fact that young people today feel society demands more of them.
“Society has put up norms for what you are supposed to be like and what you are supposed to handle. And if you cannot handle it, it becomes difficult,” says Elias Sahlin, 17, from Södermalm. Another reason young Swedes feel stressed is, according to the study, social media.
Niclas Florentin, 16, from Stuvsta says, “You have to check social media all the time in order not to miss something. Whatever you do, that’s in the back of your head.” Karin Schraml at Stressforskningsinstitutet (the Stress Research Institute) who conducted the study, believes we have reason to worry over the result of the study, as stress at an early age may lead to major problems in the future: “If we adopt stressful behaviors early on, there’s a risk we end up with problems later in life, such as fatigue syndrome, and serious physical illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases,” she says, adding that one of the reasons youngsters feel more stress than before is that they have no time to rest. Schraml’s study shows that more than a quarter of today's 16-year-olds sleep less than six hours a night. “Young people sleep much too little. More activities are packed into the 24 hours and that leads to little time for recovery. Social media, among other things, takes a lot of time.”