Are millennials more prone to depression?

Of late, there has been a significant growth in mental health issues in the United States. Sadly, almost 50 percent of people with serious psychological disorders do not receive any treatment. Perhaps more alarming is the fact that it is the millennial generation that is more depressed than the previous generations. Precisely, mental health of millennials is in a precarious state with high rates of anxiety, depression, substance abuse and eating disorders.

Studies have shown that youngsters in their 20s or early 30s frequently call in sick to work due to depression or anxiety. Also contributing to the chronic crises of depression among teens and youngsters is the ease with which medications for depression and anxiety are made available. Not just antidepressants, but also selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and beta blockers can set a chain of dependency, which further deteriorates the depressive symptoms.

Social media behind isolation and depression

While depression among teens could be attributed to a number of reasons, such as negative self-image, obesity, body disorders, bullying in school, separation of parents, loss of a beloved pet or grandparent, social media can be regarded as the biggest culprit. Today, social media is a major factor behind depression in the younger generation.

As per a recent study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, millennials who are hooked on social media are at a higher risk of feeling isolated and depressed. According to Brian Pimack, one of the authors of the study, “Mental health problems and social isolation are at epidemic levels among young adults.”

The study conducted on 1,787 individuals aged 19 and 32 found that youngsters who used social media 58 times or more per week had three times the risk of experiencing social isolation than those who used social media nine times a week or fewer.

A 2016 survey conducted by the Bank of America found that a large chunk of the millennial generation, around 39 percent, spent their time glued to their smartphones. Instead of cultivating friendships and hobbies like their parents did, the Generation Y finds solace in a range of gadgets. Another downside of the current social media obsession is that teens and youngsters are finding less family time. Even while having dinner, it is quite likely for each to be absorbed in their private virtual worlds. Those dealing with child psychology say that spending too much time on social media is counter effective. Instead of bridging the gap and enriching one’s knowledge, it makes one fall prey to social isolation and depression.

Man is a social animal. Hormones associated with happiness and wellbeing are released when one interacts with another. Apparently, the baby boomer generation though poorer in term of materialistic requirements did considerably better than the generation Y when it came to establishing close relationships.

Moreover, the rise of celebrity culture has had a negative impact on the lives of the millennia generation. Many reality TV shows focus on the perfect lives of celebrities, which is quite in contrast to the life that most teens have. This directly contributes to a significant growth in mental health problems among the youth.

Road to recovery

In the past, it was believed that the younger generation was unlikely to have disorders such as depression and bipolar due to the lack of brain maturation. However, a growing evidence suggests that even children might experience the whole spectrum of depressive disorders, ranging from a simple sadness to a major depressive disorder (MDD).

If you or your loved one is struggling with depressive symptoms, contact the Depression Treatment Helpline to learn about diagnosis and treatments. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-619-7729 or chat online with our counselors to find the best rehabilitation centers for depression in your area.