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The Facts About Millennials and Anxiety

Feelings of anxiety are very uncomfortable. When anxiety becomes habitual and the level of anxiety being experienced is higher than normal, it could mean you are experiencing an anxiety disorder. Additionally, experiencing anxiety can cause extreme feelings of vulnerability that are difficult to overcome. While anyone can develop this mental health challenge, one group is particularly vulnerable. Millennials and anxiety often go hand-in-hand these days. However, help is widely available. 

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety consists of experiencing worry and fear. Normal levels of anxiety affect everyone from time to time. Life presents us with many situations that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable. As a result, we feel some anxiety and fear about them. Having said that, anxiety can get out of control and become extreme. Sometimes anxiety becomes overwhelming, habitual, and unrelenting. As a result, it can become an anxiety disorder. Extreme anxiety can exist in relation to driving, working, going out in public, or meeting strangers for the first time. Additionally, it can come from being confronted by something uncomfortable, like a test or a job interview. 

Many types of anxiety disorders exist. Finding a professional to express how you are feeling can help determine if you need therapy. Additionally, medication can provide great relief for anxiety. Because both conditions often occur together, outpatient programs offer treatment for both anxiety and addiction. 

Causes of Millennials and Anxiety Disorders

Labeled “the anxious generation”, millennials consist of those born between 1981 and 1996. Fear often affects their lives on a regular basis. Anxiety comes from situations like climate change,  the threat of nuclear war, and the pandemic. Because of this, millennials and anxiety become a powerful combination. Feeling overwhelmed, they search for relief through negative coping mechanisms. Alcohol and substance abuse can be an easy answer for all the unrelenting fear and anxiety they face. Some of the causes of anxiety in millennials include:

Missing Out on Milestones

Millennials may have missed out on the presumed normal milestones of life. These include graduating from college and getting a promotion at work as quickly as expected. They often compare themselves with others to an extreme. Additionally, many millennials have anxiety related to thinking they don’t live up to the expectations of others. Consequently, millennials and anxiety become a common pairing. 

Relationship Anxiety

Millennials are anxious about finding the right life partner. Will they find the one who they will spend the rest of their life with or will they die alone? 

Financial Security and Job Security

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Millennials often do not understand or feel their own worth. First, they sometimes fear the working world. Second, they can lack confidence about being able to support themselves or a family.

Climate Change

Anxiety can occur over the fact that the world is changing so quickly and there seems to be nothing they can do about it. Millennials and anxiety can center a lot around what will happen to our planet?


What is this world coming to? With the chaos in our political system today, we all experience anxiety about our leaders. Additionally, changes in laws and civil rights worry many people.

Personal Health

Although they are young, millennials and anxiety can center around health concerns. They worry about COVID, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and other diseases. Although they cannot control everything, anxiety sometimes takes over.    

Millennials and Anxiety: What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

Anxiety can become overwhelming and difficult to control. It is important to recognize if the anxiety being experienced affects and controls your life. Out-of-control anxiety can be a sign of a mental illness. Mental health professionals can diagnose Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). They understand the connection between millennials and anxiety. Signs and symptoms of anxiety that can also be symptoms of GAD include:   

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Being irritable
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep

Recognizing that anxiety is a problem is the first step in learning how to control it. For that reason, it’s important to recognize when anxiety has become intensely uncomfortable. Once it does, it is not unusual that people develop negative coping mechanisms to find relief from the fear. Drinking alcohol and/or using substances to relieve anxiety can develop into addictions. Subsequently, professional treatment becomes necessary. Then, a person can begin to reduce their symptoms. As well, they will feel more in control of their lives. 

The Link Between Millennials and Anxiety and Substance Abuse

Mental health professionals have discovered a link between anxiety and substance abuse. Those with an anxiety disorder are two to three times more likely to develop an alcohol or substance abuse disorder than the general public. Self-medication can start with one or two glasses of wine or using drugs a few times. As a consequence, it can escalate to drinking more or abusing drugs. In fact, 20% of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder also have an alcohol or substance use disorder. Molly (MDMA), a drug used today by many millennials, has been found to be a common drug used to address anxiety. 

Find Treatment For Anxiety Today

Riviera Recovery in Los Angeles understands the connection between millennials and anxiety. For this reason, we can help you deal with your issues. We have qualified and understanding mental health professionals who can design an individual treatment program for you. Not only do we treat anxiety, but we can help with any co-occurring substance abuse disorder. We offer a kind and caring environment that feels safe. Visit our admissions page and get started on healing from anxiety today.