A Message to Anxious Young Adults

October 31, 2019 TJ DeSalvo

I know what it's like to be an anxious young adult. I’ve been anxious my entire life; however, it wasn’t until I was 18, and in my freshman year of college, that my anxiety received an official diagnosis. With everything else going on relating to the transition into adulthood, a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder just served to make an already chaotic time that much more so. Given that I doubt I’m the only one who has gone through (or who is going through) this difficult series of circumstances, I want to address this blog to any young adults who may be struggling with profound anxiety for the first time in their lives.

How Anxiety Affects Young Adults

First, I’ve heard it said that what separates a bonafide mental illness from, say, a simple unpleasantry, is the former actively prevents you from living a fulfilling life. This is absolutely true. As I said, I’ve always been anxious, but it wasn’t until I was in college that it actually started to have a very negative impact on my life. I couldn’t be productive with my schoolwork, I was isolating myself, and I was ditching personal responsibilities.

That being the case, what I’m about to say may sound stupidly commonplace, but if you notice these things happening to you, reach out to someone right away. You might not have an actual mental illness and are just having a bit of trouble with the anxious adjustment to adulthood, but that doesn’t matter. What’s important is ensuring that this negativity doesn’t continue to spiral and that you establish a network of support for when and if things get bad.

Why Anxiety Affects Young Adults

I want to return to the adjustment to adulthood for a minute. It doesn’t surprise me for a second that I developed an anxiety disorder during this time; and, it doesn’t surprise me that I’m not alone in this. Think about it: you’re out of high school, maybe you’re away from your family for the first time ever, you’re starting college, you’re maybe starting a job, maybe you’re trying to on your own. Any one of those is a lot to deal with, but dealing with them all simultaneously is a nightmare.

It’s okay if you feel like this is too much. It is too much. There’s nothing wrong with admitting something that’s self-evident, and if anyone gives you a hard time for admitting that, then I would suggest that person needs to get his or her head examined.

Again, I want to reemphasize that it’s a good idea to reach out to someone if you start feeling overwhelmed. It is very hard to manage all of this on your own, and infinitely easier when you have a partner invested in your success. It’s also infinitely easier when those anxieties are not continually bottled up inside.

Reaching out has the added benefit of, in an admittedly small way, reducing the stigma surrounding the mental health of young adults. That there continues to be such stigma when, again, the transitions young people struggle with are unmanageable for basically anyone, is nonsense. If more young people admit how overwhelming it is, the more commonplace it will become to everyone.

Nobody can solve all the problems or anxieties young adults face. But I sincerely believe that if these small, manageable strategies in self-care are taken, this difficult transition can be made much more manageable.

Have you experienced anxiety as a young adult? Share your thoughts in the comments.

APA Reference
DeSalvo, T. (2019, October 31). A Message to Anxious Young Adults, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: TJ DeSalvo

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