Gen Z's mental wellness harmed by need to be perfect teen | Emily Bobryk-Ozaki | TEDxYouth@SanDiego

Gen Z's mental wellness harmed by need to be perfect teen | Emily Bobryk-Ozaki | TEDxYouth@SanDiego

Gen Z teenagers often feel that they need to do everything as they prepare for their future – always doing, going, getting, and having – from their school work and testing to volunteering, friends, family and personal projects. And they’re so enveloped in social media that there’s a crushing pressure to be the perfect, well-rounded teen. As a result, Gen Z’s mental wellness is being challenged, and often leads to depression, anxiety, even panic attacks.

Teens are so focused on the outside that they forget to focus on themselves too. That reality caused Emily to ask, “When will we get the chance to be?” In her view, Gen Z teenagers need to realize that it’s okay to be still, to take breaks, mental health naps, and most importantly, to just be. Emily is a student at the School of Creative and Performing Arts. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


  1. Does anyone have this feeling, that you have dreams and desires but like she said.. a fear that it won’t work out. You feel like if you want something, you need to be worried about it or else it won’t happen..

    I was just curious, because since I became a teenager (right now 15) this feeling has been coming over me, and Iv never felt that way before until recently.

  2. Omg this is like so real. I am on 8 grade now and the work here in middle school in Thailand is staggering. Like 4-5 project a day. I very like the phrase "bE HaPpY". Is this like the propaganda for the parents of this age? This is very much like a wake up call for me… after the mental breakdowns I had.

  3. Me watching this sitting at my desk frantically going through notes and flashcards, waiting anxiously for my parents to burst into my room to scream at me about how I’m not good enough at my instrument

  4. sadly I dropped out in 8th grade now I’m 18. I feel like I’m living the same day over and over it’s like I’m falling in a never ending hole

  5. She’s keeps talking about mental health days….. Yeah because of my OCD I never did those unless all the mental stress was physically making me sick. Even if I had been up half the night having panic attacks I’d be at school the next day. It was only when my body was starting to break down did I ever give myself a break.

  6. You can be anything you want to be if you work hard. Yes but can and will are two different things in other words there is not a guarantee. You can increase your chances but you can half the best qualificatiobs but if nobody gives you a chance ..I come across quiet and have anxiety especially in interviews. So I can relate to all this

  7. ok but i love how shes 15 and shes giving ted ed talks but at 15 i cant even stand up in front of the class to give a presentation without getting flustered and nervous

  8. Most the gen z kids i know don’t study at all and have a lot of free time because of it,giving them a normal childhood, non antisocial and awkward insted of an education in a very abusive system in its core(school). These a deeper problem to it but she’s 15,at 15 i was worried about girls and didn’t think twice.

  9. The thing is, it’s true. For a while now, I’ve been struggling with the need to be good at everything. Be it school, video games, music, art, etc., the need to be amazing at it creeps its way into it. I hate it, and it only makes me feel worse than I already do. The worst part? I’m mediocre at all of those things

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  11. Gen Z should take days off and go out in nature relax, be in the sun, exercise, eat food that are keto, no sugar, get deep sleep 9 hours, do intermittent fasting, 2 meals a day lunch and dinner at 12 and 6 pm. Get enough Magnesium in leafy greens.

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  13. is it bad if you are watching this while presenting infront of a class online just because you don’t have enough time to do it later

  14. For many of us in gen z, this isn’t entirely true. The reality of it for us is: we are either doing nothing important, or doing 13 important things at once.

  15. And then they say "You guys are lucky that you have the internet to get the information you need" or " You didn’t go through the same hard things we went through." nah man, it’s tiring.

  16. Parent’s don’t understand the impact social media has on us kids, or why we are always on our phones. They did not grow up with this advance technology, and it’s so frustrating when they make me feel bad by saying "You’re always on your phone." I feel many of us from generation z try, but social media grasped us, and many or addicted.

  17. When you read all the comments about people’s experiences and realize how messed up you actually are: 👁👄👁

  18. Gotta love how school gives us breaks, with work to fill in the gaps when you want to do something for yourself!

  19. What would gen z s do in the case of a natural disaster and all the power and WiFi went out ? I don’t think they could handel pressure. People are way to dependent on technology, and technology is not natural, its not a natural part of the earth.

  20. "Gen Z need constant validation."

    Me binge watching all of the Gen Z Ted talks because i need to know if I’m considered a normal teen among my classification.

    Me binge watching all of the Gen Z Ted talks because the world constantly tells me I’m not normal, that my feelings aren’t validated and that things that were afraid of {Balloons / bags of chips popping during school equals gun shots, Not being allowed a job just because we didn’t do this one exam or test or did not meet a certain qualification due to being so busy all of the times, etc.} , things that we experience, things that we go through on our day to day life is apparently not excepted.

    Me binge watching all of the Gen Z Ted talks because apparently from the other generation before me, I need to do better, despite the fact that when i try, they tell me to sit down and let them handle things because they’re the adults and know better and apparently know what’s best for us since it works for them. What works for you guys we do not except because its so biased and violates our code of some word that ends with is or m or phobia. {Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.} t

    Me binge watching all of Gen Z Ted talks because we are apparently the worst generation to have ever had existed known to man kin. That we’re ‘not old enough’ , that we’re not ‘experienced enough, that we’re not ‘responsible enough’ , or that we ‘do not have enough knowledge’ to do apparently anything that will benefit in today’s life. or the world WE have to live when we grow older because the world that THEY left behind is in shambles and THEY expect US who did nothing to contribute to what THEY have made to fix it…

    There are so much more problems, and i cant speak for the entirety of our generation because each and everyone of us have experienced different types and different extents of trauma from our previous generation. But our life so far is a trainwreck, and were only in our teens.

  21. I am a young Gen Z (13) but I am already stressed, not wanting to even try, and I am suicidal. Yet, no one understands that, yes I can commit suicide even if I am 13. I have been cutting myself but not hiding them. I want people to notice them and see how I am struggling and hurting. Yet, no one does notice, they just talk to me and leave they don’t care to look at my arms. People say "I have been so depressed" or "I just wanna die" and they are saying that because it’s a "trend". But, if I say it and mean it they think "oh ya she’s following the trend too" or "she just wants attention". When I actually reach out for help no one understands, they just say "I am too".

  22. Life just feels like fighting wars on so many fronts, and getting pushed back, so slowly and bitterly. And eventually, you make a final stand, and then you are gone.

  23. Is anyone else losing hope for the future because they’re already overwhelmed and know it’s just getting harder and harder as life progresses?

  24. Me watching this while organizing my desktop and thinking about school even though I’m good at it: ah yes i am j u s t f i n e
    If you see this, i believe in you, whatever you’re going through is valid, you can do this💜

  25. Thats a good one. So mental health stayed the same in the past when kids were held to the same standard.

    Its funny that the ones that grew up in it all have a harder time than those that lived through wars and hardly know how to use a smart phone. Maybe gen z just complains and cries more instead of just getting over it. Ever see an old lady cry cause a younger person tries to explain how to use a smart phone. I have. Seems like newer generations are just getting softer and want to be catered to while they ask for free stuff that isn’t actually free, cost is just moved to another thing that becomes more expensive.

  26. i feel like older people like to organize problems based on how bad it is, and ignore the fact a problem is a problem. Kids now may not have fought wars but we still have bad mentalities and varied stressful situations.

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  29. As a person who is in Gen Z and is pretty young, I relate with a lot of things in this video with mental health.

    Just realized Gen A wont survive and might possibly be like us

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