‘Recession Anxiety’: The Latest Excuse for Teenagers Who Act Like Teenagers

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"This 'super-sovereign reserve currency' thing that China has proposed has just got me really upset." Photo: istockphoto

Just when parents seemed to be on the road toward combating Attention Deficit Disorder in children with heavy-duty pharmaceuticals, a new teenage disease is poised to sweep across the land: Recession Anxiety. The Times today identifies Patient Zero, Joshua Batista, of Queens. This fall, the 16-year-old started acting out in school, which culminated in a kind of "nervous breakdown," he said. "Where I was pulling out my hair, hitting my head."

"He noticed it was happening at the same time as the economy," his mother, Elissa Levine, tells the paper with what we think sounds almost like maternal pride.

Joshua confirmed her diagnosis to the paper: He had "gotten more depressed and stressed," he said, since "the recession and that stuff started."

Joshua, a singer-guitarist, said the economy limited his music purchases and earnings. Therapy and medication have increased. Asked to leave school, he will be taught at home.


Well. We're glad Joshua's getting the help he needs. We trust that with a combination of music therapy and drugs, the Levine-Batistas will get to the root of problem, which we for one are convinced is not the coursing of hormones through Josh's adolescent body or the fact that he's sad that no one is buying his songs on BurnLounge, but is instead due to his unusually precocious preoccupation with whether Tim Geithner is up to the job and his creeping fear that the Public-Private Investment Program will turn the United States economy into a simulacrum of Russia's in the late nineties. God help us if everyone's kids are this smart.

Signs of Rising Stress As People Face Uncertain Future [NYT]