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The Facts About Depression and Millennials

October is National Depression Education and Awareness Month. As a result, our staff at Riviera Recovery believe that it is important to provide more information about the link shared between depression, and the generation that one belongs to. Specifically, we wanted to focus on the facts that link depression and millennials. Addressing this is an essential part of normalizing mental health issues, and helps provide reassurance to those struggling that they are not alone. For those looking for comprehensive and effective depression treatment options, Riviera Recovery is here to help.

What is Depression?

Depression is a severe mental health disorder with symptoms of prolonged periods of extreme sadness and decreased motivation. Unfortunately, it is a disorder that is widespread among millennials. The National Institute of Mental Health found that, in 2020, 21 million adults had at least one major depressive episode. This number illustrates the importance of raising awareness of the impacts of depression, as many of those around you may be showing signs of this disorder, without realizing it. To treat depression, we recommend a combination of medication and therapy. This combination helps our clients overcome the often overwhelming symptoms of this disorder.

Several types of depression exist. The following brief descriptions of depression indicate the different diagnosis factors:

  • Major depression: accumulated common depressive symptoms that occur and continue for at least two-week periods
  • Persistent depressive disorder, also labeled as Dysthymia: this diagnosis depends on the accumulated time of the depressive symptoms lasting for at least two years
  • Perinatal or postpartum depression: Gender-based depression symptoms occurring before or after pregnancy or delivery
  • Seasonal affective disorder: Depression symptoms change with the seasons.
  • Depression with symptoms of psychosis: Severe form of depression, including signs of experiencing delusions, disturbing or strange beliefs, and hallucinations  

Depression and Millennials 

Millennials are the generation born between 1981 and 1996. Members of this generation have a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors that point towards a higher chance of developing depression. This link is due to the characteristics that define the millennial generation. Some of these characteristics include the following:

Environmental Factors

Millennials are less likely to seek professional help for mental health issues, such as depression, perhaps due to the way they were raised by their parents or guardians. Most millennials were raised by parents of an older generation who grew up during a time where mental health issues were not normalized. Therefore, many millennials may have been taught to either ignore the symptoms of mental illness, or that they should just try and overcome their struggles on their own.

This outlook on mental health has lead many to feeling lost and unable to function on a daily basis. Additionally, environmental factors within the pandemic affected many millennials by displacing their entire lifestyle. As a result of this displacement, the scope of their whole world was disrupted, including their financial stability, which has a strong bearing on mental health.

Genetic and Biological Factors

Genetic factors, or heredity, are the second most common cause of mental illness. For example, a family history of depression or anxiety can further explain the link between depression and millennials. In addition, biological, mid-life or adult chronic illnesses that include organ dysfunctions or disruptions in brain chemistry can induce depression. Understanding the impact of genetic and biological factors is essential to overcoming both depression and addiction.

Depression typically develops from a combination of causes. Life crises, trauma, victimization, physical condition, changes in brain chemistry due to age, and drug and alcohol misuse can all contribute to depression. In addition, millennials experience many of these factors within their generation. Therefore, learning the signs and the being knowledgeable of the link between depression and millennials can lead to a correct diagnosis. 

At Riviera Recovery, our mental health services are designed to help ease the process of recovery for our clients. This is done through addressing the specific environmental and genetic factors that have contributed to one’s depression diagnosis.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Understanding the signs and symptoms of depression can help those who are struggling know what they are dealing with. Having this knowledges enables them to reach out for help.

It is important to remember that depression is an illness that can affect each person differently. The following signs and symptoms of depression can include one or many of these factors:

  • A persistent feeling of emptiness
  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Chronic negative attitudes and thoughts
  • An inability to process feelings healthily
  • Feeling constant guilt and shame
  • Fatigue or lack of energy or momentum
  • Inability to focus or make decisions
  • Loss of interest in relationships, hobbies, and once-important issues
  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Physical symptoms of headaches, digestive problems, and body aches

The Link Between Depression and Substance Abuse

Whether they are dealing with high student debt, or high competition in the business community, millennials are constantly having to deal with stressful situations. With all of these sources of stress, millennials may look towards alternative ways to alleviate their symptoms. These alternative ways may include increased substance use.

Additionally, with the increased prevalence of social media usage among millennials and younger generations, the amount of pressure one feels to constantly put themselves out there, and maintain an online presence, can prove to be too much for some to handle. Statistics point to 90.4% of Millennials being active on social media. Social media, as a whole can expend feelings of inadequacy among participants. This inadequacy breeds insecurity and depression. These feelings of worthlessness, can, overtime, generate harmful coping mechanisms that can have a significant impact on one’s health.

For those struggling with co-occurring depression and addiction, it can be difficult to ask for help. That is why, Riviera Recovery provides safe and effective depression and addiction treatment programs, so you are able to overcome your struggles with mental health, and develop healthy coping alternatives to substance use.

Millennials Can Find Treatment for Depression Today in California

For those who are looking for an effective form of treatment for depression, Riviera Recovery Center is here to help. When you choose us, you can rest assured that your treatment process will be in the hands of our dedicated and compassionate staff, who will offer you support throughout your entire recovery journey. For more information about the link between depression and millennials, as well as our other programs and services designed to help you recover from mental health issues, reach out to our admissions page today.

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