Angst, German for fear or anxiety, is used In English when we speak of intense emotional strife.
Wikipedia says; ‘The word Angst has existed since the 8th century, coming from the base-Indoeuropean *anghu-, “restraint” from which Old High German angust develops. It is pre-cognate with the Latin angustia, “tensity, tightness” and angor, “choking, clogging”; compare to the Greek “άγχος” (ankhos): stress.’
Our Scouts come to us just as they enter the age of intense personal change and discovery we call adolescence. It serves us well to understand this period of paradoxical joy and suffering. Our boys are working through things that are at once confusing, revelatory, elevating, disappointing and encouraging. We may remember this transition in our own lives but it is sometimes difficult to recall the intensity of that time.
…All the beautiful things I believed are gone, and now I can’t believe anyone or anything. I realized how easy it is to be lied to, how easy it is to lie, and now I’ve lost both my ability to trust and my own trustworthiness. I’m 18. I’m young, and most of what I feel qualifies as teenage angst, but this seems different. Something feels dead inside of me, and I don’t know how to revive it. I don’t know if there’s anything left to revive.
His answer is equally intense and insightful;
The important thing to realize is that everything you are experiencing
as a young person making the transition to adulthood is normal. It
sounds crazy but it is simply the truth of the matter. When we are
young, we see easily what physicists and mystics know only through a
lifetime of arduous study: that matter is a vibration, sort of, and that everything is energy, sort of, that invisible worlds exist, and that language can only capture the edges of this eternal and infinite reality.
I encourage you to read the full article. It may be at odds with the way you see the word in some respects but it will help recall the conflicts we have all encountered and aid us with better understanding our boys as they march forward to manhood.