Unlike generation Z, millennials spent most of their teenage and early adulthood in a time where talking about mental health was considered taboo. Under no circumstance does this mean that millennials had to or still have to face fewer mental health issues.
In fact, according to researchers, the generation of millennials is the generation that is most vulnerable to mental health issues.
You may think “Why are millennials the generation most vulnerable to mental health struggles?”
There is no right answer to this question. However, one possible factor is that Millennials are the first generation that has been raised with the internet and social media. No doubt they create vast opportunities, but at the same time, they may overwhelm a person.
The plethora of options and oceans of opportunities can easily confuse a person as to what they should choose: lifestyle or career, traveling or a desk job, business or a 9 to 5 job, etc.
This article is dedicated to acknowledging the mental health struggles of millennials. If you also belong to this generation and are looking for ways to cope with these struggles then this article is also made for you.
Rising Depression amongst millennials:
As per Blue cross Blue shield reports, around a 47% increase in the diagnosis of major depression is seen in millennials since 2013. This is much higher as compared to any other age group. Major depression seen in these people is mainly characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness, constantly experiencing low mood, etc.
Increasing suicide and drugs usage in millennials
Millennials have been reported to be the generation that has been indulging in drugs and alcohol use at the highest rate. They also have been the generation to have committed the highest number of suicide in past few years. Note that these negative tendencies have increased in all generations, but the greatest increase has been seen amongst millennials. According to another report, overdosage of drugs caused the greatest number of deaths among American millennials in 2017.
Financial crisis amongst millennials:
Millennials belong to the generation with the most expensive loop of high student loan debts, costly housing plans, and an expensive healthcare system. Fresh graduates have constant pressure on them to clear the enormous amounts of student loans that further increases the chance of deteriorating the mental health of these people. According to studies, higher debts have a direct link with an increased incidence of depression.
Stigmatization of mental health issues among millennials:
Have you ever talked to your grandparents and asked them how they lived their lives? More often than not you will hear stories that revolve around courage, wittiness and a more practical than theoretical approach. Under such circumstances, do not be surprised if you get a hysterical laugh from them on mentioning “mental health problems”.
Unlike the 2020s, where people have a much welcoming stance regarding mental health issues, millennials faced many frowned faces. Over their mental health problems. Being a human you can easily understand how this stance could have a two-fold impact on the mental health of millennials. Being discriminated against for problems that require reassurances and support, only worsens the struggle against these problems.
Unlike generation Z, millennials initially did not have the access to adequate mental health services and therapists who could help them figure out their insecurities and confusions.
Acknowledging mental health problems is the first step towards improvement. However, we must discuss some strategies that can help millennials cope with daily mental health struggles. So, if you are a millennial struggling with mental health, the next part is for you specifically:
How millennials can cope with mental health issues:
Mental health problems need immediate attention. Any sort of delay can exacerbate the problems exponentially. So, let’s dive right into the strategies that can help millennials cope with their mental health problems:
1) Accepting the reality:
The first step in solving any problem is accepting that it’s there. When someone faces mental health issues they try to deny it or run away from them. No one can blame millennials if they deny mental illness due to the lack of awareness and outcasting of millennials with mental health issues.
But think about it yourself, if someone keeps denying that they have a mental illness, How will they act to cope with the illness? So, the first radical thing to do is to accept the fact that some problem is there and then apply strategies to cope with it.
2) Getting professional help:
No doubt self-help tips can help a person struggling with mental health issues get through the days a little more easily. However, still, the most effective thing a person can do is see a therapist. No matter what the era is, professionals have a better idea about how a mental health problem can be resolved.
3) Maintaining good physical health:
The age group of millennials ranges from around the early or mid-20s to 40 years of age. This is the age where people are usually swamped with work trying to build their future. In such a scenario, people can easily forget about their physical health.
According to studies, endorphins are released from the body while exercising. These chemicals are released in the body that acts as natural pain killers and can also help to elevate the mood of a person. Hence, exercising regularly can prove quite beneficial for someone struggling with mental health issues.
4) Reach out to friends and family:
Although it is hard to share your vulnerability with someone, letting someone help can reduce your problems significantly. Family and friends can pick up a person on the worst of days.
5) Apply the “5 senses” technique:
Whenever you or someone you know feels overwhelmed with anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks, or some other mental health problem, apply this technique. The 5 senses technique essentially involves using your senses to feel what is happening at the moment. For example, you can focus on how your fan looks, how the blowing air feels when it touches your face. This helps to divert your attention and can hence, make you feel less anxious.