The Facts About Millennials and Depression

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Exploring the facts about millennials and depression begins with defining the age group involving this generation. People aged between 25 and 40 years old, considered millennials, are experiencing a higher percentage of depression than any other generation. Depression and its partner, anxiety disorder, were illuminated as the most pressing mental health concern throughout the pandemic. The 72.12 million of millennials living and working in the US are generally not equipped to prioritize their mental health as a major concern, with stigma still strong for the age group. A generation who considers themselves in their prime, setting themselves up for future financial security, instead, find uncertainty in economically unstable times. The pandemic, war, and politically volatile landscape could explain how the millennial generation is proving to be so highly affected.  

What is Depression?

Depression is a medical illness affecting primarily, mental health. Specifically, the facts about millennials and depression include how depression severely affects primary life functions, beginning with diet and sleeping habits. Work habits, relationships with family and friends, as well as thought processes are disrupted with uncomfortable and persistent symptoms. Complicating the diagnosis of depression is the fact that there are several types of depression to consider when being assessed. Therefore, mental health professionals have developed assessment criteria to determine if depression is present, and the correct diagnosis for the type of depression. 

The types of depression are classified by determining circumstantial factors. Specifically, genetics, biological factors and environment are causes of depression. The facts about millennials and depression include Blue Cross Blue Shield reporting that since 2014, depression diagnoses are up 31% in this age group. The following types of depression are classified differently through circumstance or cause.

  • Major depression. Diagnosed with common depression symptoms that occur and remain for at least 2 weeks.
  • Persistent depressive disorder or Dysthymia. Diagnosis is determined for the duration of the common depression symptoms for at least 2 years.
  • Perinatal or postpartum depression. Circumstances due to women experiencing major depression during or after pregnancy or delivery.
  • Seasonal affective disorder. Depressive symptoms change with the seasons.
  • Depression with symptoms of psychosis. A severe form of depression where a person experiences delusions (disturbing or strange beliefs) or hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that others don’t).

Causes of Depression in Millennials

The facts about millennials and depression point towards those born between 1981 and 1996 with either genetic, biological or environmental factors causing this mental illness. Recent common environmental causes include the pandemic, which affected many millennials who were displaced from normal life. Forced to change occupations or struggle with working from home major economic stability disappeared. Parents with children were also responsible for homeschooling their children and finding new opportunities to recreate them. Living in an ever-changing environment with no control of many life factors explains how depression could set in quickly for the millennial generation. 

Genetic factors involve heredity. Personal or family history of depression is a primary factor in developing depressive tendencies. Biologically induced depression can exist through mid-life or adult chronic illnesses, major organ dysfunctions, or problems with brain chemistry. The facts about millennials and depression could include one or more of the causes listed here triggering such high percentages in this generation. Social media, which fuels the millennial generation can also be a contributing factor to the development of depression. High levels of stress can also be a contributing factor to high rates of depression within this generation.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

The signs and symptoms of depression can be different for every individual. The facts about millennials and depression prove that this age group struggles with the challenges of burnout. Stigma runs heavy with the millennial generation. People raise them to believe that their mental health is not as important as their physical health. Lack of education proves they do not understand that depression is a medical illness. 

The following symptoms are signs of depression:

  • Long-lasting sadness and/or hopelessness
  • Negative attitude combined with feeling of empty
  • Tendency to exhibit extreme irritability, frustration, and restlessness 
  • Unable to process feelings in a healthy manner, such as guilt and shame
  • Lack of energy
  • Gradual inability to focus and make decisions
  • Loss of interest in once important relationships, hobbies, and interests
  • Change in sleeping and eating habits
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Physical symptoms of headaches, digestive issues and body aches

The Link Between Depression and Substance Abuse

The facts about millennials and depression determine the link between depression and substance abuse. Social media pressures reinforce perfectionist tendencies in the millennial generation. Socially, 90.4% of millennials are active on social media. Social media spurning feelings of inadequacy make it easy to use alcohol or other substances to cope with stress, unresolved feelings, and lifestyle challenges. In fact, depression is one of the top ten health conditions affecting the millennial generation. 

Economically, today’s world is not the same for millennials as it was for their parents. Businesses no longer hold a solid work ethic and loyalty to employees. Substance abuse can easily develop in the throes of depression when healthy positive coping mechanisms remain unknown. Pressure is extreme for this generation with 63% having over $10,000 in student debt to repay. The facts about millennials and depression show they spend over $600 billion annually. This type of lifestyle inspires high stress which leads to depression, anxiety, and substance abuse to cope.

Find Treatment for Depression in Los Angeles, CA

The facts about millennials and depression find a very large population dealing with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. You can find treatment for depression today with Launch Centers in Los Angeles, California. We have experienced professional staff who are available now to speak with you, answer your questions, and quickly set up an assessment. We look forward to helping you or a loved one who is experiencing the challenge of depressive symptoms. Call us or visit our admissions page. We look forward to helping you find your individual treatment plan. 

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

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Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

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Eric Chaghouri, MD


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Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

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