...a fairly sober report from Psychology Today. At bottom, this is all very sad, both for the students and for those charged with helping them.
ADDENDUM: These developments are symptomatic of two phenomena, one hopeful, one pernicious. The hopeful phenomenon is that treatments for previously debilitating mental health problems are dramatically improved over the last generation: not just in terms of productive pharmaceutical interventions, but also in terms of successful cognitive-behavioral interventions. Students who, a generation ago, might never have made it to college are making it there and, in many respects, thriving. But they bring a particular set of medical needs, some of which may be exacerbated by cultural tendencies. The second phenomenon is not a hopeful one: it is the increasingly reactionary and rapacious character of American capitalism (represented most clearly by the insane Republican party), something that at least one Presidential candidate this year, Bernie Sanders, wants to undo. But should we really be surprised that in the current economic climate that students obsess about failure? In America, failure in the competition for economic survival means destitution or death; young people no doubt internalize this reality in various ways and end up exaggerating the import of even small setbacks accordingly. Even the so-called "helicopter parenting" phenomenon is a symptom of this. The pathologies of the economic system under which we live are surely playing some role in the phenomena aptly described in the linked article. It is, alas, both tragic and perversely reactionary that some bourgeois academics think the relevant response to these real phenomena are better policing of microaggressions and suppression of speech offensive to the needy. There is speech that should be suppressed, but there is no chance that will happen under current conditions.