A new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology outlines that depression and the tendency of self-harm among millennials is on the rise. This stands true even as typical risk factors such as antisocial behavior and substance use fall.
It is possible the social media is to be blamed for such swelling numbers of millennial depression.
The Numbers Speak For Themselves
Researchers of this study noted that the symptoms of depression and self-harm both trekked upward after the age marker of 14 in contrast with the older cohort. In this regard, the study looked at two groups of millennials in the UK. One group was born between 1991 and 1992 and the other was born between 2000 and 2002.
The study noted that the symptoms of depression among millennials have increased to about 15% from 9% between 2005 and 2015. During this time, self-harm also rose from nearly 12% to over 14%.
On top of that, younger millennials reported lower risk factors such as:
- Drinking alcohol (43% decline from of 52%)
- Smoking (3% in contrast with 9%)
- Fewer anti-social behavior (28% instead of 40%)
The study also learned that younger millennials slept less than eight hours per night. Moreover, they had a higher body mass index (BMI) scores than their counterparts.
Another report in 2018 from Blue Cross Shield also reached a similar conclusion – major depression diagnosis had increased by 47% for Generation Y in 2013.
Is Social Media To Blame?
The study shows that the risks factors of depression among millennials have declined. However, the numbers of depression are still on the rise. So what is causing all this? It is possible that social media is the culprit behind all this.
Research says that Facebook depression is real. At the same time, other social media networks provide an open stream of others’ personal and professional lives. This adds to the mental burden, which amps up the risk of depression among regular social media users.
Healthline talked to experts in this regard. Mental health therapist and founder of Transcendence Counseling Center, LLC in Vero Beach, Florida shared his opinions. He said, “Millennials were the first generation to grow up with the constant flow of information from the internet and social media [and] they are being bombarded with details about the personal and professionals lives of others.”
She also said that millennials are feeling pressured to look good and act good all the time. This culminates in a drop in one’s self-esteem and amped up the risk of anxiety and depression.
Dr. Michael DeMarco also talked to Healthline as well. He highlighted that the internet hasn’t given any meaning in truth. DeMarco also outlined that, “App culture has us feeling more alone and isolated than ever before. Massive student loan debt, and the likelihood of financial freedom and owning a home and paying off that student loan debt [are] not likely.”
In sum, millennial depression is on the rise. It is possible that social media is to be blamed for this.