Depression in millennials? Sounds obnoxious and unbelievable, isn’t it?
People born in the era of Pre-Millennials never knew such things existed because they never came across such circumstances.
Ok, first of all, who are Millennials? Millennials are the Generation Y, they are nurtured and pampered by parents who don’t want to make the mistakes of the previous generation, millennials are confident, ambitious, and achievement-oriented. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Millennials are born between the early 80s and 2000.
- This generation witnessed and experienced the epic 360 degree transitional phase in the economy and technology.
- Millennials prefer digital literacy as they grew up in a digital environment. They don’t know a world without computers exists.
- They socialize digitally.
- Depend upon internet for any information.
- They are nurtured by progressive parents.
- They face enormous academic pressure.
- With the decreasing attention span, they want everything fast and immediate.
- They have been told repeatedly that they are special, and they expect the world to treat them that way.
- They don’t believe in hard-work but in smart-work.
Being spoken about Millennials, I drew some significant underlying issues which are proven and leading causes of depression, anxiety and mood swings.
Five Things You Need to Know about Depression in Millennials
The Very Famous Generation Gap
Every generation coherently has gaps between the old and new things. Old and new ways and old and new folks.
Being born in mid of 80s I have tasted both the worlds, a bit of traditional times and this millennia time.
I am from a family that had a black and white T.V with a shutter to Smart LED T.V today. From Computers to laptops and I have used Nokia Communicator to touch screen mobile phones.
I feel ours is the generation which has witnessed the maximum technological transition, things were still fine but then the INTERNET came in.
Today’s kids are born with it, in it. They will hardly understand that there existed a world wherein we used to ask for the help from the neighbours instead of Google.
We used to ask the direction from the road side hawkers instead of GPRS (well, I still do that because I am still more of an old school)
Kids don’t actually gel with the old and new mashup pattern. Parents have different sets of expectation (which is not wrong) but kids today find it really hard to see the world from their grey-scale view while they are exposed to all new kaleidoscope.
With the changing times and evolving generation:
- Let us set realistic expectations/goals for them.
- Let us never compare our kids with what we were in our times.
- Let us inspire them and do not discourage their potential.
The Performance Pressure
In past few years we all have come across so many incidents where-in students have taken their lives because of the fear of failure.
They don’t even wait for the result and are so scared with the circumstances if they fail to prove their abilities; they decide to end their precious life.
A child is learning daily from us, from teachers from the environment. Every child is different, their development is at a different pace.
Even siblings from same mother could be extreme opposites. One could be highly successful and the other one could just suffice his bread and butter.
A child could be fighting with himself to prove his abilities and make his parents happy but he fails, but let us do not fail him with his life.
I agree that exceptions are always there, there are kids who are mischievous or notorious but the one who decides to end his life, is certainly not.
Heavy Baggage of Expectations
A child sometimes just waits for a nod, ” it’s ok beta (son)” to free himself from the anxiety and depressing feelings of not being able to meet his parent’s expectation.
In this cut-throat competitive world and parents who swear by the philosophy of “survival of the fittest“, many children suffer in silence.
Right from their very young and tender age, we start preparing them for higher aspirations. We pass on the baggage of our dreams on their fragile shoulders.
As if it is a legacy which a child has to take over. Why not train them to identify their own way and lead it confidently?
Accepting Failure is also Important
We train them to win and not to embrace their failures. Mistakes are proof that we are working towards our goals continuously and daily without giving up.
But in order to raise a successful child, we fail to raise a happy one. We give a lot of importance to the parameters set by the society. We want our kids to represent us.
Every parent wants their kids to be successful and excel in whatever they do in their lives. But to the contrary, there are children who are made believed that they are born to win.
This kind of thought-process leads to severe damage in the long-run, when they wake up to reality. Life is full of challenges and that too unanticipated ones.
Let us prepare our children to live that life anticipating failures, risk, learnings and growing with them.
Social Media – The Silent Killer
Now your kid is no more a kid; he/she is a teenager, a grown-up child who can take care of himself. For how long will we be able to track his activities?
But apart from that parental perspective, if we see this from the child’s perspective, it is spooky.
We can never know what conversation, what stories are taking place in this palm-sized gadget. Children go into isolation; they stop talking to family members.
We as parents need to be very watchful and mindful here. With the advent of Social Media where everything is in public.
Kids compare, they fear of getting judged; they want to outshine; they want to compete. This is altogether a new and different kind of generation we are dealing with and it is resulting in a large stats of social media anxiety.
We can stop nobody from using social media or mobile phones or laptops. But being there for the child might save some tragedy; this Internet world is full of boons and banes.
Let’s try to protect our child from long-term damage. Let’s not follow the strict approach and try to see the world from their eyes and then make them understand our views.
It is easier said than done, but trying is the only option we humans are blessed with.
I am not a parenting expert but with the changing time I feel that our approach needs to be amended a little, because in the absence of such adaptive methodology I only see more and more of dysfunctional families and broken realtionships within family members.
Much love and much gratitude