Today we have Zach’s second post on how teen mental health is changing around the world. In his last post, Zach showed that there is a four-part pattern in the data from all five of the main “Anglosphere” countries. Today he presents the studies he has collected on teen mental health in the five Nordic nations (the three Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, plus Finland and Iceland).
The Nordic nations differ in many ways from the Anglosphere countries. In particular, they have lower levels of some of the social pathologies that some have said might explain the rising levels of mental illness in the USA such as income inequality, a hyper-competitive neoliberal economy, school shootings, and other gun violence. The Nordic countries also seem to do a lot less of the “coddling” and paranoid overprotection that is rampant in the USA, Canada, and the UK (though not so common down under).
And yet, as you’ll see, the basic pattern largely holds. I think these two posts from Zach are tremendously important for they show us that the teen mental illness epidemic is international. We need to be looking for causes that can explain the international pattern, even as we know there are also additional causes and cultural interactions specific to each country.