Depression on the rise for millennials

Researchers say that millennials (aged 24 to 39 typically) are reporting higher rates of depression than other generations

Millennials more likely to seek out psychotherapy

Researchers say that millennials (aged 24 to 39 typically) are reporting higher rates of depression than other generations, and the COVID crisis of uncertainty has clearly exacerbated mental health issues among this group. As much as 17 percent of millennials report that they are depressed while 14 percent say they suffer from anxiety.

The good news is that millennials are not afraid to ask for help and tend to seek psychotherapy more often than members of Generation X or other, earlier generations. Millennials also report that work weighs heavy on their overall mental health due to longer work hours and stagnant wages. They also suffer from higher rates of burnout than do other generations. This group are more likely to quit their jobs for mental-health reasons.

Depression challenges for millennials

According to one national report, major depression is rising at a faster rate for millennials and teens compared with any other age group. In fact, over the past decade millennials have seen a 47% increase in major-depression diagnoses. The challenge presented by making a living, wages, and overwork weighs heavily on millennials as they face greater financial difficulties than Americans from previous generations. Almost 30 percent of millennials see themselves as less well-off than they may have anticipated to be at this stage in their lives a situation frequently aggravated by ballooning student-loan debts, and the rising cost of living.

Uncertainty about making the right choices to ensure a stable future is a major reason why millennials experience depression and anxiety, and why they feel the need for psychotherapy. Some are confronted with too many choices that make distinguishing between so many options overwhelming. Ultimately money-related fears around being less successful than their parents or failing to support themselves at their current standard of living is a frequent reason millennials seek out psychotherapy.

The symptom of depression is “a severe and persistent low mood, profound sadness, or a sense of despair,” according to Harvard Medical School. Researchers who analyzed the data of 55 million commercially insured American millennials. It found that major depression had the highest prevalence rate, or the likelihood of a person having a disease, among health conditions affecting millennials.

Where millennials turn for help

Talking to friends or family about these kinds of concerns, or finding a good therapist to discuss the issues, can be an essential resource for working through many of these issues. At the same time, recognizing the importance of being kind to yourself as you journey through a stressful time can be very healing as well. Self-compassion is an essential tool when dealing with stress, anxiety and depression.

Positive mental health isn’t just the absence of anxiety, depression or other problems, it’s also the presence of positive attributes. Being mentally or emotionally healthy is something we can all strive for, and with the help of a trained psychotherapist tools for coping can be learned and exercised to achieve a higher state of well-being. People with strong mental health are better able to bounce back from adversity, trauma, and stress and achieve a greater sense of resilience.

Millennials who are emotionally and mentally resilient have a greater capacity for coping with difficult situations and are able to sustain a more positive outlook through the trials of life. They have a better time staying focused, flexible, and productive, in difficult times as well as good. Learning how to be resilient makes us less afraid to meet new experiences or more available as we navigate an uncertain future. Even when the solution to a problem may not be immediately obvious, resilience helps us to remain hopeful that a solution will eventually be found.

If you are having trouble with accepting or adjusting to life’s challenges, Dr. Holland can help you find healthy ways of coping. The simple act of expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic. Dr. Holland will tailor treatment to meet your specific needs. Fill out the online appointment form to reserve an appointment or call 707-479-2946.