[20181123] 美國人年輕人的玻璃心

Have Americans become too fragile for their own good?

by Jonathan Haidt @BigThink

(Jonathan Haidt 是美國紐約大學心理學家,主要研究方向是倫理學和心理學的交集)

近幾年美國年輕人的心理健康快速下滑,不只是學校的心理諮詢中心忙不過來,由於自殘而被送進醫院的人數也在上升 (所以這不只是對精神疾病就醫意識提高的影響,而是真正的整體問題)。如果我們將近幾年的自殺率和二十一世紀前十年做比較,(美國)青少年男生的自殺率上升了 25% ,青少年女生的自殺率上升了 70%

自 2013 年以來,學生開始要求教授少指派或談論一些可能會對他們心理創傷的 “危險” 文字、書籍、理念、講者等,或者提前警告大家、讓不想受傷的人主動缺席,這是一個前所未有的現象:

For students to think about ideas in terms of right or wrong is great. Exciting versus boring is great. But safe versus dangerous? This is a terrible way to approach the intellectual world.

作者認爲,這種執着於 “安全”/”危險” 的世界觀可能會造成學生受憂鬱和焦慮情緒困擾的風險增加,2015年以來全國性爆發的學生憂鬱症浪潮正好也和作者的推論吻合 (不過作者並無法確認之間的因果關係):

Students are thinking in terms of safety and danger. Students say, by their own admission, they are more fragile; they use a language of fragility, weakness, trauma, triggering. They see triggers all over the world.

所謂的引爆點/雷點 (trigger), 就是會讓你的神經系統一聽到就自動激發防衛反應的一些言論或關鍵詞 (這個相信碰過中國網民的人已經相當熟悉):

What are triggers? Triggers are cases where you take a part of your nervous system and you say “if someone says that word they can control my nervous system and make me afraid and anxious.” That’s a terrible idea.

作者認爲,與其將世界當成一個充滿 trigger 、需要小心躲避的地方,以健康的態度擁抱多元性是更有建設性的態度:

We should not be teaching our kids to see the world as being full of triggers, we should teach them to live in a world that is physically quite safe but full of offensive statements and ideas, especially on the Internet.

The truth is that diversity of perspectives is essential for healthy organizations, especially those who care about innovation. We have to address all of the diversity issues at the same time. We can’t pit them against each other. We have to work on our speech climate; in the business world it’s called speak up culture, in the academic world it’s called just basic openness to ideas.

作者也推薦大家學習 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 來增強心理健康免疫力,CBT 是個實證非常有效而且易於入門的心理療法。David Burns 的 Feeling Good 這本書是作者的首選推薦。

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