Older generations often have difficulty understanding the younger people in the age range of their children and grandchildren. Generational differences can make it difficult for some parents and caregivers to understand the unique world circumstances that might make millennials more prone to depression or other mental health issues. Millennials’ unique experiences in a life heavy on high-tech development in a fast-paced world make millennials and depression a combination that happens quite frequently.
The Link Between Millennials and Depression
A recent report showed that millennials experience higher rates of depression than other generations. Both depression and “deaths of despair” were reported on the rise in the millennial generation, creating a greater need for treatment for people in this age group than before. Deaths of despair are deaths related to drug or alcohol overdose, or suicide. These types of death have increased in all age groups, but the highest increase shows up with younger Americans.
Several causes can contribute to the development of depression in millennials. These include:
The COVID-19 Pandemic
The global pandemic has been like nothing seen in modern times. Millennials now no longer take their health for granted, nor that of their loved ones. Millions suffered from the virus themselves, watched loved one’s contract it or succumb to it, and now worry about possible future epidemics.
The pandemic also caused many people to put off plans for college, careers, moving, weddings, and other important life events. Additionally, social distancing and other health and safety measures have led to increased isolation. The combination of chaos and uncertainty contributed greatly to the rise in depression.
High-Tech Lives Often Isolate Millennials
While most people enjoy the advantages of things like smartphones, streaming entertainment, social media, and multiple things being delivered to their front door within hours, this type of living can also promote isolation. While previous generations put an emphasis on getting together in person, many in the younger generations rely on video chatting, texting, and social media to engage in friendships and other relationships. The loss of in-person contact can contribute greatly to developing feelings of depression, hopelessness, and anxiety.
Difficulty Paying for Treatment
Young adults typically have less access to health insurance and the ability to pay for treatment for necessities like mental health. With the workforce still in the process of recovering from massive unemployment due to the pandemic, putting off treatment happens frequently.
Many millennials find themselves overwhelmed by burnout from jobs that don’t hold meaning for them. The threat of taking on extensive college loans or the burden of already paying for them makes schooling to learn a new trade a choice they are not sure about.
With stagnant wages in place and salaries often not providing enough to live independently and free of financial worry, many millennials feel trapped in jobs they do not enjoy. This can easily lead to depression.
The Commonality of Depression and Addiction
Many people are surprised to learn that about half of all individuals who struggle with a mental illness also deal with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Substance use disorders often accompany millennials and depression, complicating an already difficult hand a young person has been dealt. Many people with untreated depression turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the symptoms of depression, unaware that they are only complicating the problem.
Ignoring depression won’t make it go away. Without treatment, depression can cause a negative impact on a person’s family life, romantic partnerships, career, schooling, and the ability to enjoy daily life. Depression can affect a person’s sleep cycles, their ability to heal from health problems, and contribute to the development of physical symptoms like headaches, high blood pressure, and anxiety.
Because of how common an occurrence it is for people who have depression and other mental illnesses to also deal with a substance use disorder, many treatment programs provide help for both diagnoses. When a person receives treatment for their depression and addiction simultaneously, they save time and money and make progress more quickly than if they approached treatment during two different timeframes.
How Does Treatment for Millennials and Depression Work?
Depression won’t just go away on its own. Telling a young person to cheer up or find the positives in life when they are dealing with a serious mental illness like depression isn’t providing realistic advice. Depression requires treatment over a period of time and can incorporate several different approaches.
Residential treatment provides round-the-clock care that helps keep a person in a safe environment while they work on coping with their depression. Outpatient programs also offer focused treatment modalities but take place during weekdays, allowing the person to return to their home at night.
Sober living houses offer a step-down program in which a person who is both new to sobriety and learning to manage their mental health can live with peers. Everyone in the home understands the difficulties each person faces, and they can practice learning to stay sober and enjoy better mental health before returning home.
Aftercare programs help put the spotlight on millennials and depression by providing age-specific treatment that begins after initial treatment ends. Options include continuing individual therapy, participating in group therapy or support groups, and alumni programs provided by facilities.
Treatment for Millennials and Depression in Los Angeles
If a millennial you love struggles with depression and needs help learning to heal and manage their symptoms, we can help. Our program is specifically designed to help young people overcome the obstacles that mental illness causes, as well as treat any co-occurring addiction to drugs or alcohol. Our gender-specific sober living houses provide a safe haven for young adults to flourish in their recovery and mental wellness and return home prepared to live independently. Contact Riviera Recovery today and we will be happy to answer any questions you have. Call 855-207-9708 now.