Trending Now… Millennials and Mental Health

“Mom, you wouldn’t believe how many people my age talk about mental health,” my oldest daughter, Mackenzie said. “It’s not a taboo subject anymore. I know a lot of people at work and friends outside of work who see therapists or take medication for anxiety and depression.”

Really? I couldn’t hide my smile. Not that I want them to be dealing with mental illness. But I’m glad they’re not afraid to bring up the subject.

My experience growing up was completely the opposite. I felt alone. My panic attacksΒ  began when I was ten. I kept it a secret. I didn’t want to be thought of as strange or different. I didn’t reach out for medical help until my early 30s.

Mackenzie is 24 years old. She graduated college three years ago and started working at a great company. She loves her job, and is happy living on her own and being financially independent. But she’s struggled the past couple of years with stress and anxiety.

Mental health conditions run in our family. I’ve recovered from panic disorder and agoraphobia. My youngest daughter Talee had panic attacks when she was young and is now panic free. My mom has dealt with severe depression. Doctors say our imbalanced serotonin is hereditary.

Mackenzie was aware of this, and spoke with her doctor about treatment options. She decided to try an antidepressant.

It’s been several months now. The medication has helped her immensely, with little to no side effects. She often says, “I’m so much happier!”

Music to my ears.

Mackenzie knows she’s not alone in trying to manage her anxiety. Many of her peers are stressed too. She says there’s an actual name for it. Quarter-life crisis.

I laughed a little. “You mean like a mid-life crisis, but a quarter-life crisis?”

“Yeah. You can look it up. It’s really a thing.”

How to Survive a Quarter Life Crisis | Christa in New York

Mackenzie’s anxiety may be caused by a chemical imbalance. But coping with generational stressors most likely contributes to it.Β I asked her why Millennials are so anxious.

“A lot of reasons. Everything is so fast-paced and competitive. Part of it is social media. The sense of immediacy, everything has to happen right away, at the click of a button. There’s pressure to constantly be ‘on.’ To look and sound perfect, and act like you have it all together. But you don’t.”

“What else?”

“A lot of it stems from when we graduated. We worked hard to get a college degree and now we’re in jobs that we’re not sure about. I love mine, but some of my friends are saying, ‘Is this what I really want out of life? Should I be doing something else?'”

She continued, “Then there’s personal relationships. There are dating websites and apps and pressure to find someone. The clock is ticking. But a lot of us aren’t ready to settle down yet.”

Some of these concerns go way back. But past generations didn’t have to navigate the constant deluge of the internet and social media. It can make life better but can also complicate it.

I can’t begin to solve the dilemmas facing Millennials. I’m just glad they’re talking more about mental health.

And that my daughter is happy.

First image courtesy of here

Second image courtesy of here

Third image courtesy of here

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86 thoughts on “Trending Now… Millennials and Mental Health

  1. Stuff is always easier to handle when it is out in plain sight. So glad this generation doesn’t have the stigma attached as my parents’ generation did. My brother in law went through a season years ago and his folks were outraged when they were told it was mental health problems and not cancer! I will never forget how appalled I was at their attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh!! That’s terrible. Wow. Appalled is a perfect word for that. When I hear a story like that, it’s encouraging in a way… because it shows that the stigma is so much less than it was years ago. We’ve come a long way, but still need to go further. The open conversations on mental health need to continue. Thanks so much for sharing that.

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      • I always figured if someone was diabetic and took insulin no one batted and eye. Why should we hide mental illness when we don’t hide physical illness……neither one makes a person any less.

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  2. So happy for your daughter! I am sure that is a great feeling for you as a Mom to hear how happy she is!
    It is true kids these days are talking so much more about it, and I agree with you I am glad that they are. But at the same time I am so sad that it has affected our young people like it has. So many more 8 year olds and up that suffer from depression, anxiety, etc. then ever was before. What happened to the younger generation being able to be carefree in their childhood days, or was I just oblivious to it affecting the younger generation before. I don’t know. I just am glad that there is help and that people are acknowledging it and not trying to pretend it doesn’t exist.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I agree, it’s sad that it seems like anxiety and depression are affecting younger and younger kids, taking away their carefree childhood days. But maybe we hear about it more now because it’s not as hidden as it was before. My youngest daughter was nine years old when she started to get panic attacks. She didn’t want anyone to know, and we told very few people. I’m so glad people are speaking out more and getting help and treatment. Thanks for your nice comment! πŸ™‚

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  3. I’m so glad that young people are talking about mental health, and yay for your daughter’s insights as well as her steps to stay healthy and happy. I agree with her that social media is highly stressful, and it’s a new challenge on top of the more common stressors of growing up that we all had to deal with. I took a break from social media recently for 10 whole days (no internet service) and it was AMAZING how relaxed I was. I think setting some limits and letting our friends know that we’re off line for even a half day is a really good idea.

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    • Oh, I think so too. That must have been absolutely wonderful to be off social media for 10 days!! Relaxing, peaceful, and mindful. I think at first it’d be really hard not checking my accounts, but I’m pretty sure I’d get over that quickly and just relax. Hm. Maybe I should try… like you said, even for half day would be good. Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate that!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s great you do that. I feel I may need that soon πŸ˜‰ I know a motivational speaker (Paul Wesselmann) who travels and speaks throughout the year. He posted on Facebook that he was taking a full 3 weeks off social media, to refresh and rejuvenate so he can do his job the right way (filled with motivation!). I thought this was great. I love your idea of the week off every two months. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Lovely post, I’m glad your daughter is happy too! I’m 29 next month, I’m not sure if I count as a millennial or not, but I’ve always found my mental health difficult to talk about and am trying really hard to change that x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much. I think mental health is still hard to talk about for many people. Even though more people are speaking out, it’s going to take a lot of time before everyone feels comfortable with it. And lol about you counting as a millennial πŸ™‚ I’m not sure what the break off year is, but you’re either in there or very close! Have a lovely weekend xx

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  5. I think it is great that the voice on mental health is slowly shifting into a less taboo topic. For me, that generational silence about mental health has been a challenge because my parents and grandparents refuse to discuss or even consider mental health. Anyway, really great read. Thank for sharing.

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    • Thank you so much, I appreciate that! I relate to what you’re saying. My mom has always been great with the topic of mental health, as she had major depression and understood. But my dad has never truly understood, and I’ve always thought that made it much harder when my mom was struggling. Thank you for visiting here and for the follow. It’s great to connect with you! Jenny

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  6. I’m too so grateful that mental health is a more widely accepted and talked about battle. Shame is the only thing that grows in darkness! The opportunity to be open (especially with those in similar seasons of life as we are) about some of these battles takes away such as isolating factor that some of the symptoms bring. How empowered she must feel through this-it’s evident that you are proud of her ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Your comment made me smile, I appreciate your kind words. It’s hard to express how happy I am that my daughter is able to talk about her anxiety with her friends and coworkers, and not worry about being different or judged for having this problem. It definitely helps when you can share your issues with your peers and not feel isolated. Thank you for visiting here, nice to meet you! Jenny

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  7. Good post, very interesting. I’m glad I grew up at a time before social media although navigating the dating side of things in middle age isn’t easy either! It’s good that young people feel more able to discuss mental health, that’s very important.

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  8. Jenny, very refreshing article! As a millennial that used to suffer through panic disorder I felt I could really relate to your daughter. I’m so glad we can talk about it and get the support we need though! I’m glad I found this post! I was just thinking this morning about writing a post about ways to cope with anxiety and I would love to link back to you as a thanks for your inspiration. Good luck to you and your daughter, she is not alone! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, thanks so much! I appreciate you sending me this comment, as a millennial who can relate. Sorry to hear you’ve had panic disorder, hope you’re doing well now. And yes, of course, please link back here. I look forward to reading your post and browsing your blog! Take care, Jenny

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  10. This is such a great post! I’m so glad as a whole, the younger generation (me included in that) are becoming more at ease with our own minds and mental health. Some part of this were super relatable, I have just written a post about schools dealing with mental health and included a small bit about social media, so that bit defined resonated with me ! Brilliant read πŸ˜ƒ

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  11. You can tell your daughter that my daughter didn’t find someone until she was almost 40 and just had her second child at age 45. She’s very happy – and in a great relationship. It’s a different world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing that, I will tell her. So much pressure. I often say she’ll find someone when it’s right. It’ll happen! I’m so glad your daughter is happy, that’s wonderful! Thanks again! xx

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  12. That’s so great that your daughter is doing well. I wish my daughter would go to my therapy, but when I tried she cried and yelled and she said she wasn’t going to say anything and I can’t make her. I know she would be happier if she learned some skills to help her with her anxiety. It’s awesome that your daughter and her friends are talking and even more awesome that she shared all of that with you. I actually know about that quarter life crisis because I’ve seen the books with that title in the bookstore. Recently Maggie had to make a family tree of illnesses in her family for health class. She had to color code each illness. I told her you know mine and now you can add hypothyroidism. I was so glad that she was not embarrassed to put mental illness in my circle; I had the most colors! I was so glad that she was comfortable sharing my illness just like her grandfather’s high blood pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Traci, what a great story about the family tree of illnesses. I love how Maggie wasn’t afraid to share your mental illness. That’s awesome. So in a way, she gets that it’s okay and knows you have to deal with it. I guess it’s just hard for her to accept that she also does. Sorry it’s been tough with her not wanting to go to therapy. Maybe in time she’ll realize she needs to, and that’s what will help her. Also… what a wonderful project for health class, an illness family tree. It’s really helpful to know that, and good for the students to find out. Better to know what runs in the family, and do what you can to prevent the disease or know what you need to deal with it. Hope you’re having a nice weekend πŸ™‚

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  14. Hi, this is a great post! I know so many people my age that are struggling with mental health and anxiety and for some of them its something really painful to talk about. They usually feel guilty about bring the mood down, but I think the more people talk about their experience the more young people will be able to talk about their problems. I also agree with your daughter about anxiety and social media. I think society assumes that all millennials will die if they aren’t posting once a day, but in reality its different person to person. I personally only use Facebook to make events and to message close friends and I know a bunch of people my age who shun most social media. This expectation that all millennials are on social media means that everything targeted at millennials involves social media including things like work, which makes it hard to separate work from our private lives. Really good post and sorry for the long comment! -TC

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! And I’m so glad you commented, it’s great to hear your insight, I appreciate it. I know, even though some may talk about it, that’s very hard to do. It’s uncomfortable, and like you said, they don’t want to bring the mood down. But it’s healthy to tell problems to a close friend or family member. I agree about social media. Both my daughters are moving away from posting a lot. But they still like Instagram. Thanks again for your kind words! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so normal to feel like that! Many people are more comfortable not sharing with others, and that’s okay! I think it’s good to open up when you feel ready, and also decide who you share personal issues with. Maybe starting with family or a close friend, who you’re confident won’t judge.

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  15. Omg I loved reading this post. I follow you now πŸ‘ Thank you! I am suffering anxiety my whole life and I can relate to it all so much. Our generation feels so much pressure and we have to have all things together when we just don’t feel good enough all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so, so much! I’m glad you liked it. Sorry to hear you have anxiety, I know how hard it is to deal with. And I know, there’s a ton of pressure to have it all together, and that’s way too hard to live up to. Impossible, really. Thanks for visiting here and the follow. I’m going to head over to your blog and follow 😊

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  16. Thank you so much for your lovely reply! πŸ’•πŸ‘ Yeah, I know but I’m going through it πŸ’ͺ We will be strong. We should live day by day to make our dreams true and try to ignore the pressure arround us evem though it can be really hard sometimes…. Thank you for your follow! πŸ’•

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  17. I love this! I can very much relate to Mackenzie as a senior in college who is struggling with mental illness. I actually (after a lot of hesitation) just posted a blog post on coming out about my mental illness and how my family handled it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I just read your post, and it’s amazing. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s hard to do that, but also can be therapeutic. It’s hard to reach out for help, and talk about your mental health, but so necessary. I’m really glad you did! Take care πŸ™‚

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