by gabbybates

Studies have shown that 4/5 teenagers experience Angst. The other 1/5? They revealed themselves to be teenage-shaped lawn ornaments during the final stages of experimentation, at which time it was too late to subtract their results from those of actual teenagers.

All this to say, it is scientifically proven that teenagers are Angsty.


It doesn’t matter what their circumstances are either. An orphan teenager slinging cocaine on the corner of Bad News Street in a hand-me-down, periwinkle du-rag is just as likely to be Angst-ridden as the upper class beauty queen and valedictorian whose parents wrote Happy Birthday Perfect Sunshine! on her birthday pancakes.

I know this from personal experience in both of the above situations. Angst is not circumstantial.

So what does cause Angst?

All the parents in the room are nodding their heads. They know the answer. Hormones.



“But, but, but… the doctors said…”

Just shut up and listen. You may want to pull your beanbags closer, too.

Psychologists will tell you that everything is the result of Nature and Nurture. This is a lie, as well as a terrible title for a horror movie. Psychologists are just saying this so you will leave them alone to conduct their weird rat drug experiments in peace.

But I am here to tell you, without personal agenda or secret motive, the truth.

Teenagers get Angst from novels.

Preposterous! You say in your head. “Preposterous!” you say out loud, if you are an old British man with hairy ears. My child was never exposed to novels! Well, they were in school, but those things were dense and depressing even when I had to read them “back in the day”!

Not preposterous. Just true.

Novels have filled our once-children with more passion, sadness, and frustration than can be expressed in a rational way. Ever heard of John Green? I rest my case.

“So let’s ban novels!” you say. “Let’s burn them all!”


Keep your pants on, crazy. We can’t ban novels.  What are you, a character from Fahrenheit 451? You of all people shouldn’t want novels banned!

Plus, if we banned them, teenagers would be Angsty about the fact that they weren’t allowed to read them, so it would be a really expensive overreaction with zero benefit for our superfast texting mini me’s.

So why am I writing this? Clearly I am not writing to cure Angst. It is an affliction that cannot be cured except, in some cases, by Time. I am simply informing you of its cause, that you might understand the teenagers in your life more effectively.

You could even ask them about the latest novel they’ve read. Who knows? Maybe they won’t burst into tears and rip their shirts before slamming the bedroom door in your face.

One can only hope.