The Great (Millennial) Depression

The Great (Millennial) Depression

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I've had depression since I was 14-years-old. It's not something I hide, nor am I ashamed of it. It's just been a part of my life for a long time. It's actually one of the reasons I got into writing; In order to sway thoughts of bodily harm and emotional depreciation, I started to create stories. Because my world was unbearable at the time, I immersed myself into ones that I created and that I had control over. Luckily, being a part of Odyssey has given me an outlet to continue to express my opinions and inspiration for storytelling in a more healthy way.

When my journey began, it was incredibly difficult. I spent two years on various medications, one of which gave me a sleeping disorder. I had two doctors tell me that I was bipolar, one told me I had anxiety, and one went as far as to tell me that I should be committed (at this point, I wasn't suicidal or isolating myself from the general populace).

I knew that I had none of these disorders; I was just depressed. See, a lot of people don't realize that depression is co-morbid with a variety of other disorders that coalesce into a cacophony of emotional turmoil. I was depressed, which made me feel anxious. When I was anxious, I would often switch between being anxious and being relaxed. This would often cause drastic mood fluctuations which, in reality, is quite normal for someone who has depression.

When I hit college, I majored in psychology because I wanted to understand why I experienced this horrible emotional stress as a child. As I grew into my big-girl pants and developed a passion for investigative journalism, I started to dig into the possible reasons behind my unhappiness.

Around this same time, I was beginning to immerse myself into the world of social media. Truth be told, I didn't get a Facebook until right before my sophomore year of high school, and I got a Twitter during my second year of college. I still don't have an Instagram.

As I started to break away from my cocoon of self-imposed social media isolation, I noticed that celebrity and peer deaths filled my news feed on a regular basis. Some of them were due to natural causes, but a lot of them were suicides. Why was that?

According to a study by the American College Counseling Association, there has been a 16 percent increase in depression rates in college populations since 2000. Additionally, according to some recent studies published in a Washington Post article, 44 percent of college students experience depression, and suicide is one of the leading causes of death among students.

According to anoter recent study, 1 in 5 Millennials reports being depressed, compared to 16 percent of Baby Boomers and 16 percent of Generation Xers. That's a huge discrepancy. Why?

"Millennials are growing up at a tough time. They were sheltered in many ways, with a lot of high expectations for what they should achieve. Individual failure is difficult to accept when confronted with a sense you're an important person and expected to achieve. Even though, in most instances, it's not their fault -- the economy collapsed just as many of them were getting out of college and coming of age -- that does lead to a greater sense of stress," Mike Hais, a market researcher, and author, told USA Today.

You see, reader, Millennials are growing up in the wake of the most devastating economy crash since The Great Depression. They're growing up around a 50 plus percent divorce rate and during the Digital Age where nothing is private, secure, or inaccessible for longer than 30 seconds. Millennials are bombarded with social, economic, emotional, and educational stressors the likes of which this world has never seen.

Our entire lives are displayed on screens. Our education is based on an obsolete letter that a professor, whom most of us will probably never see outside of class, gave us. We are expected to walk out of college, degrees in hand, with a job on the horizon. We are expected to delve into our college careers with nothing more to go on than our high school educations, and walk out having all but cured cancer.

Of course, we're depressed. The world around us has changed tremendously in comparison to generations before. Now, this is not to say that Millennials are more depressed than generations past. Not at all. This article is meant to convey the point that Millennials are experiencing depression at record levels because of extraneous stimuli that previous generations didn't have to experience. We, millennials, are the generation of the "Great (Millennial) Depression."

Cover Image Credit: america.aljazeera.com

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65 Truths College Students Need to Hear Right Now

Truth every college student needs to hear.
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1. The best memories are ones you actually can remember.

2. God isn’t going to ask you if you were in a top-tier sorority or fraternity at the gates.

3. You failed a test, not your life.

4. Numbers don’t define you.

5. That includes the number you see that is your grade.

6. Also, how much you weigh.

7. As well as if you are a “7/10” on a so-called “hot scale.”

8. Or if you can bench press 200 lbs. (@ all the guys at the gym, please chill.)

SEE ALSO: 7 Reminders Every College Student Needs To Hear Before The Semester Ends

9. Innocence is nothing to be ashamed of.

10. Neither are mistakes.

11. But learn from your mistakes. Mistakes can be lessons, which can be the biggest blessing.

12. Your metabolism isn’t what it used to be and that is okay.

13. You may not always understand what God is doing, but I promise He has a plan.

14. Every person you meet is battling their own struggles.

15. Life isn’t always great moments.

16. But you have to walk through the forest to get to the mountain top.

17. Your heart isn’t damaged. It is temporarily broken but it will be fixed.

18. However, the only one who can fix a broken heart is the one who created it.

19. So a cute boy or hot girl can’t put the pieces back together.

20. Neither can ice cream.

21. But ice cream can totally help.

22. Stop texting your ex. He/She is your ex for a reason.

23. Loving Jesus means loving people.

24. Loving Jesus also means loving the image of Him in the mirror you see.

25. Stop hiding your emotions. Stop crying in the bathroom or behind a locked door. You have people in your life who care about you.

26. Suicide is never the answer.

27. Breathe in, breathe out.

28. Do you feel your heart pump? Do you feel the air exiting your body? That is a sign you are here for a purpose. Your life is no mistake.

29. Just because you doubt, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in Jesus.

30. However, when walking on the water scares you, look to Jesus and keep your eyes on Him.

31. If you have the opportunity to go to school go. There are young girls around the world who would do anything to sit at the desk you are complaining about.

32. Don’t pick a career based on money.

33. However, I promise you can use any passion or gift to serve a purpose bigger than yourself if you allow yourself to give it to the One who gave it to you.

34. You don’t need pretty prayers to please God.

35. Talk to Him like you are talking to a friend.

36. Look for the good in everyone.

37. That includes the mean girl who no one likes. Chances are she is mean for a reason. Someone was once mean to her. Kill her with kindness.

38. Pray to have the Lord’s eyes. See people with love.

39. Try to have the Lord’s hands, always be reaching out to others.

40. Each morning, pray to have the Lord’s feet and go where He calls you.

41. It is a bad day, not a bad life.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Be A College Student In April

42. You don’t need a six-pack to find a man who loves you.

43. You need a spouse who will be able to look at you when you are 80, and wrinkly and maybe a little chunky, and you need him to love you then. If he loves you for your body and your hair, I promise he doesn’t actually love you. Looks fade, but love is eternal. Find someone who loves you like Jesus.

44. Do some squats.

45. But squat so you feel good about yourself, not to attract the opposite sex.

46. You are never too old to find a new hobby.

47. You were beautiful before someone told you.

48. If you don’t know if you are in relationship or not, leave. You deserve clarity, not insecurity.

49. You deserve friendships that are mutual.

50. The best Friday nights are spent with a puppy and food. It is okay to not always be social.

51. Stop worrying about whether your crush will text you back.

52. Stop over analyzing everything in general.

53. Pray for your future spouse.

54. However, also pray for your future bridesmaids/groomsmen. Some of the most influential people you may have in your life you may not have even met yet.

55. Storms bring strength.

56. And storms bring rainbows if you are patient and observant.

57. Stop Pinteresting your dream life and start living it.

58. The Bible is actually extremely relatable. Open it up. Read it.

59. Romans 8:28 “and we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is on your team. He wants you to have moments of celebration. He has a purpose for you greater than your bad day.

60. Never forget what Jesus did for you on that cross. When he died for you, it was painful and brutal. It was ugly. It was love. Don’t let that truth ever become numb to you no matter how many times you have heard the story.

61. There is nothing wrong with carbs.

62. Study. And don’t wait for the night before.

63. Find someone who you can look up to.

64. Also, never forget that there is always someone looking up to you. Act like someone you would want your future children to be. Act in a way that reflects wisdom.

65. Smile more, you are loved by the one who hung the stars and painted the sea. He created puppies and carbs–yet still loves you more. That is something to celebrate.

College is tough and life is hard. You are going to have moments where all you want to do is celebrate life with your best friends, but you will also have moments where you just want to lock the door, ignore everyone, and have a good cry. Never forget that your worth comes from something greater than your Biology grade, and from Someone greater that the one who broke your heart.

You aren’t too cool for Christ in college. Christ is a necessity for you in your life. He can hold your hand during your heartbreaks and failures and celebrate with you when you get the text back or a passing grade in foreign language. He loves for you and cares for you more than your sorority or fraternity ever will.

So buy your books, do your homework, but never forget when you are walking to you 8:00 a.m. you regretfully signed up for, to look up. Look at the clouds and the sky and thank your creator that in a big big world with many beautiful things, He still loves our messy hearts even more. So this one is for the boys for the King. This life is for the One who laid down His life.

I promise college is more fun when you dance with your Savior. Follow His lead and let him take you on a journey where you can find your purpose. You may not know where you are going, but you do know who you are following.

So never forget that although classes may be hard, and your metabolism may be slowing down–God is still good. He turns our ashes into beauty and our trials into our testimony. Do life with your creator and I promise you that you will have more than you need.

Romans 8:28 “And we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Check out my website for more articles on self-worth <3

Twitter: gracev96

Instagram: lemmebeyourvalentine

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'Breaking Up' With Those Toxic Friends Doesn't Make You A Bad Person

When you get stressed interacting with them, then you know something's up.

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I would like to mention that yes, I have done it. It wasn't a toxic relationship but I was uncomfortable and I let them go. I am happier for it and trust me, you will be too.

It's not pretty being in a toxic friendship. It doesn't even have to be toxic. The moment you feel uncomfortable around them, the moment you are stressed to be near them, or you feel scared that they won't listen to your opinions, it's time to let go.

I'm not the kind of person that finds it difficult to let go of people. It is a cycle of life and sometimes, people go and sometimes, they stay. Relationships evolve and people evolve; hoping that things stay the same is a pointless endeavor.

But it is definitely hard to understand that you need to stop talking to someone or else it will make you sadder, more different, move you in a direction that you aren't comfortable with and that changes who you want yourself to be.

It is hard to accept that there is nothing to do now, there is no way to fix it, and you must just stop talking to each other.

You can try your best to explain to them what the issue is, try to resolve it, try to keep that friendship working but sometimes even after that, it simply doesn't work and you do not know where to go from that.

It's ok. It doesn't make you mean or cruel or bad. You are just taking care of yourself and you should. We all should take care of our own mental health before others because we have control over our mental health, not other people's.

Not being friends with someone that you were close to is so weird. You go on with your life and realize that you could fill your time with different things and sometimes, it seems preposterous that there was someone you spent so much of your time with because you don't have those big gaps that you expected to have.

College especially isn't the greatest with friendships. You come in thinking that you are going to find the ones that you will be friends with for the rest of your life and sometimes, you just lose touch and don't talk that much anymore but others that you didn't expect you would become closer to turn out to be the ones that you spend a significant time of your days with.

Friendships are hard and it is harder to even understand if a friendship is blossoming or not but with significant experience, you will realize that your time is precious and spending it with those who you actually care about will make you the happiest.

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