Young adulthood is generally a healthy, vibrant time in a person’s life. Young people have energy and resilience that older people often lack. A young person’s immune system is generally strong when there is an infection, and circulation is fluid when a certain part of the body must recoup. With this in mind, health care does not seem to be a high priority for many young adults.
However, it is important to understand that a person’s development sets the stage for future conditions. A young person can eat copious amounts of junk food early on and not notice any ramifications, but effects on the body can catch up later. It’s important for young adults to pay attention to their health, regardless of how good they may feel in the present.
Healthy, but Not Impervious
While many young adults might be in the best shape of their lives, they tend to be sensitive to different circumstances in ways that older adults are not. Drug abuse, poor nutrition, smoking, depression, sexually transmitted diseases and car accidents begin or even peak in the late teens and early twenties. Young people should understand that they are not invincible, and they can face short-term or long-term consequences if they don’t pay attention to their health needs.
What Adulthood Brings
One of the problems with young adult healthcare is the transitory period that the patients are in the middle of. Children usually don’t have to think about health insurance or scheduling doctor appointments. Upon the age of majority, young adults are faced with new responsibilities and social pressures that can greatly overwhelm them. A sudden lack of support is not easy for anyone to handle.
When health issues are not prevented, they can be burdensome for a young adult’s wallet. This is especially the case for those who are living in poverty, but even young adults in the middle-class bracket often lack adequate funding if they are just getting started in their careers. Community leaders such as Dr. Jason Campbell have been working to help underprivileged youth find the health care that they need, and initiatives continue to expand.
As young people are still learning how to navigate the world, they tend to be heavily influenced by social factors. The presence of caring parents, teachers and other adults can keep young people in tune with their health and wellbeing. When responsible adults involve themselves with a teen’s activities, the teen may have better habits in young adulthood. In many cases, a young person’s peers are even more influential than authority figures. The neighborhood, school or clubs that a teenager is involved in can sharply affect his or her health habits as a young adult.
Young adults tend to lack immediate health concerns due to their youth, but they may not have the support that children have. There are incentives to push things off and enjoy the independence that comes with adulthood, but this comes at a cost. Understanding that health care is important for all age groups can keep people from making mistakes that affect their lives later.