The most harmful illnesses are not the ones that show up with glaring headlights, but those with minimal symptoms. And guess what? They are more dangerous.
This is the generation that gave way to the Gen Zs. They are the children of the baby boomers and Generation X. This generation is torn between taking a cut from the older generation or jumping head-on into things like Gen Zs.
Millennials are individuals born between 1981 and 1996. They heralded the use of computer devices and other advancements in technology.
The struggle between choosing to take a leaf from the older generation and being intimidated by Generation Z can give rise to depression and anxiety in millennials.
What Is Depression?
Depression is the continuous feeling of sadness in a person which affects other areas of the person’s life. This can cause the affected person to lose interest in activities they usually enjoy.
The symptoms of depression include:
- Heightened irritation
- Low energy for daily tasks
- Increased intake of food/extreme loss of appetite
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an emotion characterised by intense nervousness caused by worry or fear about a situation.
The symptoms of anxiety include:
- Sweaty palms
- Inability to concentrate
- Increased heart rate
Reasons for Depression and Anxiety in Millennials
Compared to other generations before it, millennials heralded the discussion of issues surrounding mental health. This generation has experienced three global recessions over three decades, which has made them to be sceptical about issues surrounding finance.
The major causes of depression and anxiety in millennials are discussed below.
1. Social media
The advent of social media gave rise to the spread of digital marketing, e-commerce, online businesses, and remote work. A downside of this is that individuals live double lives on these platforms. People take pictures in houses that don’t belong to them and wear clothes that aren’t theirs, all for the gram. Scrolling through social media, one can see a long thread of flashy items that can make you feel like you haven’t achieved anything with your life. This can birth depression and anxiety about the future for millennials.
Humans compete in all spheres of life. From getting a promotion at work to wearing the best outfit to getting hitched to the most handsome guy in the room. Millennials are torn between taking up the fashion sense, work ethic, and relationship style of Gen Zs while trying to keep up with their dress sense and lifestyle. This breeds contempt and competition between colleagues and friends.
3. Financial Anxiety
With the economic recession of 2008, most millennials have a hard time adjusting to the current realities of life. Like knowing that your degree is not enough to give you the life you want, pressure from family members to contribute to the family and the pressure to get married. All these issues mentioned above are the tip of the iceberg of experiences that give rise to financial stress, thereby causing depression and anxiety.
4. Fast-paced life
Social media has increased the pressure among millennials to keep up with their peers who are making waves in their careers and personal lives. No one flaunts the processes they go through to achieve a goal on social media. No one cares about serving and being under the tutelage of anyone; every young person is either a CEO or a business owner. The pressure of noticing all these online can make a millennial feel like he or she hasn’t achieved anything in life. Nobody appreciates the learning and growth stages of their lives anymore.
Being alone and avoiding social interactions can fuel depression and anxiety. This is because your mind has enough time and space to focus on the negative happenings in your life (although this is not done on purpose). Anyone can pull back from social interactions when going through financial anxiety or personal doubts. Retreating from human contact only increases depression and anxiety in millennials.
The Way Forward
No one knows you better than YOU. You know when you are stressed and need to take a vacation. You know when to pull the plug on that project that has drained your mental health. Stop trying to be superhuman. The moment you kiss goodbye to planet Earth, someone will take your role in the blink of an eye. So, remember to do that yoga activity, exercise, drink your favourite wine while listening to that cool music and enjoy the feel of fresh air on your face as you stroll through the park.
2. Say no to perfection
Perfection is a myth. The aim is to put in your best in everything you do while looking for ways to be better than you were yesterday. Focusing on perfecting that project or report will only increase anxiety and depression. Furthermore, being open to constructive criticism in your career and business will override the need to be perfect.
3. Ask for help
Remember when Superman leaves you in awe when he lifts a building? Sorry to burst your bubble, you can’t do the same. Juggling too many things at once will only sap all the energy in you. Ask for help when you need it. Ask that neighbour to assist you with getting groceries, or ask that family member to babysit your child while you hang out with your friends. Don’t feel guilty about asking for help.
4. Maintain a healthy work-life balance
All work and no play make Jonathan a dull man. Yep, paraphrased that popular saying. You don’t have to make millions to let your feet up. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Being young is no excuse to live a life filled with work, work, and more work.
5. Limit your screen time
Yep, you heard right. Reduce your screen time. Leave Facebook and Instagram for a second. The application won’t crash if you don’t use them. Most millennials are addicted to social media and it’s a pity that most of them do not recognise it for what it is—an ADDICTION. Pick up a book and read, and watch your favourite TV shows and documentaries. Give yourself a break from seeing the flashy lifestyle of people portrayed on social media.
6. Build meaningful relationships
Relationships are the bedrock of human existence. Why do you think God said, “It is not good for man to be alone” and then proceeded to create a helper for him, Eve? The importance of relationships is crucial to the human race. We all need a shoulder to cry on, and a listening ear to share our thoughts and ideas with. As millennials, it is very easy to get pressured into making new friends (which is not a bad thing) but remember to nurture and build existing relationships in your life.
Everyone will experience depression and anxiety at various points in their lifetime. Though, it is more prevalent among millennials and Gen Zs. Different individuals respond to it in different ways. Incorporating the tips listed above will ease your journey through this stage of your life.