The Kids Are Not Alright
The rise of cancel culture in recent years parallels the institutionalization of catastrophic thinking (e.g. “The world is going to end in 12 years”). These toxic thought patterns and behaviors wreak havoc on our psyche and all the more on that of young people. Then came COVID-19.
Public health leaders and politicians pretended that the disease is equally deadly to all age groups. It allowed them to enact indiscriminate policies – lockdowns, school closures, and mask mandates – that exacted a heavy price on the youngest Americans. In a nationally representative survey of 941 K-12 educators, 97 percent reported academic and social-emotional learning losses in their students because of COVID-related disruptions in schooling.
Over the last two years, children have been experiencing emotional and mental health crises. Cases of self-harm, panic attacks, phobias about contamination, eating and sleeping disorders, screen addiction (computers and mobile devices), and teen substance use have surged. In many instances, young children are losing previously achieved developmental and behavioral milestones. Finally, schools continue to mandate masks even though cloth/ surgical masks offer poor protection from COVID, and the harms caused by extended mask use have been well documented.
Suffice to say, the kids are not alright.
Exposure to chronic, recurrent traumatic events during one’s early years has been linked to poorer physical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. It also correlates to severe social and emotional dysfunction that compromises interpersonal relationships at home, in the workplace, and in the community.
In this episode of EAI’s Dialogues with Meg Hansen, we explore why so many truths about early trauma are considered taboo by the public health establishment. Our guest Anna Runkle is the creator of the popular YouTube channel, “Crappy Childhood Fairy,” which has 239,000 subscribers. A living proof expert in trauma, she reaches a global community of 300,000 people with her teachings on how to recognize and heal Complex PTSD. Runkle holds a Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and spent thirty years in the field of public health.
We address difficult questions like how a two-parent, child-centric family structure affects child development. How does hookup culture hurt young women and men? Why don’t public health authorities call out cancel culture for what it is – a cult of narcissistic abuse? We connect trauma at an individual level with large-scale societal happenings, and examine how an epidemic of untreated trauma is affecting the American body politic.