Satya Doyle Byock, a 39-year-old therapist, noticed a shift in tone over the past few years in the young people who streamed into her office: frenetic, frazzled clients in their late teens, 20s and 30s. They were unnerved and unmoored, constantly feeling like something was wrong with them.
“Crippling anxiety, depression, anguish, and disorientation are effectively the norm,” Ms. Byock writes in the introduction of her new book, “Quarterlife: The Search for Self in Early Adulthood.” The book uses anecdotes from Ms. Byock’s practice to outline obstacles faced by today’s young adults — roughly between the ages of 16 and 36 — and how to deal with them.
Just like midlife, quarterlife can bring its own crisis — trying to separate from your parents or caregivers and forge a sense of self is a struggle. But the generation entering adulthood now faces novel, sometimes debilitating, challenges.