More than 83% of millennials consider themselves to be in good or excellent health, according to a 2018 study by AmeriSpeak.The millennial generation has a reputation for taking mental health days and doing everything necessary to take care of their mental health. In spite of all this work, studies have shown 35-year-old millennials are experiencing a 40% increase in mortality compared to Gen-Xers, making millennials’ mental health one of the top health concerns in America. With everything they do to take care of their mental health, why is this generation’s health failing faster?
Millennial Health Shock Due to Mental Health Decline
First, let’s take a look at the top 10 conditions affecting millennials between the ages of 21 and 36. Millennial depression affects 31% of this age group’s population. Ten percent live with substance abuse disorder, and 1% navigate life with alcohol use disorder or addiction. Hyperactivity, likely diagnosed in childhood as ADHD, affects 29%, and 16% live with hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.
Fifteen percent live with psychotic conditions, 10% with Crohn’s disease, 12% with high cholesterol, 7% with tobacco use disorder and 22% with Type II diabetes.
Six out of the 10 conditions directly impact the mental health and emotional well-being of those of the millennial generation. Data points studied between 1999 and 2017 show a direct connection between substance abuse and declining mental health, but the relationship between the two is complex and challenging to understand. One thing is sure, though: Combined drug, alcohol and suicide deaths have been climbing since researchers started tracking metrics. In 2017 alone, the millennial suicide rate claimed more than 11,700 lives.
Your Mental Health Matters
Regardless of the various reasons why millennials are struggling with mental health, if you or someone you know is having a hard time keeping up, help is available. The crucial thing to remember is that your mental health matters, and if you’re suffering, you don’t have to do so alone. You have options, depending on what you need. You can join a local addiction treatment program if substance abuse is a concern. Seek counseling if stress in America has become overwhelming.
If you’re not sure where to start with depression in millennials or any other concern, call the SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline at 877-726-4727. They’re open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, and can provide you with general information on mental health and help you locate treatment services in your area. If you’re contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255, available 24/7, or call 911 to connect you with your local emergency services.
If you’re outside the United States, the numbers listed above might not work for you, but you are not without options. You can always call your local emergency services number, or find your country on this list of international suicide hotline numbers. There are resources available for you. Remember, you’re not alone.
Gateway provides specialized programs to help clients understand how their mental health issues can exacerbate their struggles with drugs and alcohol. Recovery is possible. Our staff is here to help you get a new lease on life.