The New Generation Gap: Nationwide Survey Finds Different Perspectives on Anxiety Between Parents, Young Adults
GeneSight Mental Health Monitor finds many parents
struggle to know the difference between teenage behavior and a mental health challenge
SALT LAKE CITY, [November 23, 2021] – One of the biggest issues parents of teenagers may face is determining if their child is experiencing a mental health challenge or ordinary “growing pains.”
Only half of parents* with children ages 16 to 24 said they are very or completely confident they can tell the difference between normal adolescent challenges and a mental health condition, according to the GeneSight® Mental Health Monitor from Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN), a leader in genetic testing and precision medicine.
Further, nearly one in three parents believe that “anxiety” and “worry” are the same thing.
“Anxiety and worry are not the same thing. Worry is situational. Anxiety is persistent and excessive – and it doesn’t go away when the specific cause of stress or distress is gone,” said Debbie Thomas, EdD, APRN, based in Louisville, Ky. “Every day in my practice I see children and young adults and/or their parents who have unintentionally ignored or minimized the symptoms of anxiety until they become a crisis. The best outcomes occur when we don’t wait until anxiety becomes all-consuming and life-disrupting.”
The importance of communication
The first step in helping your child with mental health challenges is communication. However, just over half of parents think their child would be comfortable talking with them about their mental health struggles. This is echoed by the 16- to 24-year-olds* surveyed — one in five said they wouldn’t tell anyone about their struggles with mental health.
“As many parents of teens know, your kids may stop confiding in you. Yet, the GeneSight Mental Health Monitor shows how vital mental health conversations are,” said Mark Pollack, MD, chief medical officer for Mental Health at Myriad Genetics. “If you suspect your child’s mental health is suffering, talk to them and talk to a healthcare professional about your concerns.”
Parents may struggle with identifying and talking about mental health challenges, but the GeneSight Mental Health Monitor found that early intervention and treatment may help. Three in four young adults surveyed who have experienced a mental health challenge indicated at least some of their challenges occurred before age 18, yet half said their parents never sought treatment for them. Nearly three quarters of these young adults wish that their parents would have. When asked why:
- 67% said they wouldn’t have suffered so much during their teenage years
- 66% said they would be better equipped to handle their current problems
- 64% said it would have better prepared them for adulthood
“Transitioning into adulthood is enough of a struggle – no one should have to battle their mental health at the same time,” said Dr. Thomas. “Give your child the gift of mental health treatment if they are experiencing anxiety so that they can become successful, caring and well-adjusted adults. This also lets them know it is okay, normal and optimal to seek help at other times in their life if needed – and is another positive step in destigmatizing mental healthcare.”
For more information on how genetic testing can help inform clinicians on treatment of depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other psychiatric conditions, please visit GeneSight.com.
* All mentions of “parents” refer to parents of children who are 16 to 24 years old. Similarly, “young adults” consistently refers to survey respondents who are 16 to 24 years old.
About the GeneSight® Mental Health Monitor
The GeneSight Mental Health Monitor is a nationwide survey of U.S. adults conducted by ACUPOLL Precision Research, Inc. in Aug.-Sept. 2021 among a statistically representative sample of adults age 21+, as well as a representative sample of parents of young adult children, and young adults ages 16-24. The margin of error in survey results for the total base population at a 95% confidence interval is +/- 3%.
About the GeneSight® Test
The GeneSight Psychotropic test from Myriad Genetics is the category-leading pharmacogenomic test for 64 medications commonly prescribed for depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other psychiatric conditions. The GeneSight test can help inform clinicians about how a patient’s genes may impact how they metabolize and/or respond to certain psychiatric medications. It has been given to more than 1.5 million patients by tens of thousands of clinicians to provide genetic information that is unique to each patient. The GeneSight test supplements other information considered by a clinician as part of a comprehensive medical assessment. Learn more at GeneSight.com.
About Myriad Genetics
Myriad Genetics is a leading genetic testing and precision medicine company dedicated to advancing health and wellbeing for all, empowering individuals with vital genetic insights and enabling healthcare providers to better detect, treat and prevent disease. Myriad discovers and commercializes genetic tests that determine the risk of developing disease, assess the risk of disease progression, and guide treatment decisions across medical specialties where critical genetic insights can significantly improve patient care and lower healthcare costs. For more information, visit the company’s website: www.myriad.com.
Myriad, the Myriad logo, BART, BRACAnalysis, Colaris, Colaris AP, myRisk, Myriad myRisk, myRisk Hereditary Cancer, myChoice, myPlan, BRACAnalysis CDx, Tumor BRACAnalysis CDx, myChoice CDx, Vectra, EndoPredict, Prequel, Foresight, GeneSight, riskScore and Prolaris are trademarks or registered trademarks of Myriad Genetics, Inc. or its wholly owned subsidiaries in the United States and foreign countries.