Adolescence is the life stage when mental illnesses are most likely to emerge, with anxiety disorders being the most common. Recent estimates suggest that over 30 percent of teens have an anxiety disorder. That means about one of every three teenagers is struggling with anxiety that significantly interferes with their life and is unlikely to fade without treatment.
Kayla is the anxious teen protagonist in the recent movie “Eighth Grade.” From the acne peeking out through her makeup to the frequent “likes” that punctuate her speech, she seems to be a quintessentially awkward teen. Inside her mind, though, the realities of social anxiety meet the typical storm and stress of adolescence. Through its warm yet heart-wrenchingly truthful portrayal of an awkward and anxious teen, “Eighth Grade” provides a relatable character for identifying and understanding how teen anxiety can really look and feel.
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