Young, single, anxious and depressed? Here's what you should know

Anxiety and depression are no longer First World problems. They are rapidly on the rise globally and across cultures and segments of society.

The biggest victims facing such issues are young singles and millennials owing to a lot of underlying psychological reasons, possibly stemming from familial dynamics, conditioning and stress.

Trained volunteers at Viveka, a Not-for-Profit organisation, dedicated to promoting and sustaining a mentally and emotionally healthy society, break down factors that throw such individuals out of perspective.

Outlined here are insights from the perspective of the underlying reasons, rather than the outward behaviour.

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Mental health
Mental health

1. The most commonly used word to refer to Millennials today is ‘entitled’, which to an extent is a generalised and misleading concept. The commonly held belief is that in an attempt to change their own pasts, parents have gone on to provide for all their basic necessities of life, fulfil their every wish and fight their every battle.

2. The Millennial title has aspirational value but creates a skewed understanding of identity. They mostly feel misunderstood as their elders treat them as a floating population of people who simply don’t belong. Their struggles and the impact of it are deemed incomparable to the ‘actual’ struggles of generations past.

3. The past generations had grown up reading and listening to fairy tales and stories of hope. When things went wrong, people looked at their difficulties and failures through a spiritual lens in terms of ‘God has other plans’, ‘It’s destiny’, etc.

Today stories are shared with high doses of a reality check. There’s a disconnect between cultural messaging and present-day realities. Stories no longer provide a sense of hope but instead that of scarcity which in turn makes them view their lives through a clinical lens. They’re unable to derive support like their elders did when going through the difficult phases of their lives. This inability to match up to hope and the positive perception of things leads to fear and anger.

4. In relation to them, self-care is seen as being outrightly selfish. Yet, simultaneously, their experiences say otherwise – they realise that they can only depend on themselves and must take care of themselves. They struggle between having to conform and yet be different. This makes them more
competitive than collaborative with their peers.

5. The freedom to exercise one’s will comes with responsibility. We’re responsible for our own behaviour and therefore need to be accountable for the actions we take. The struggle is that it is assumed that they will challenge things for the sake of challenging, question everything and discard values. What is unseen is that their realities are very different from the previous generation. The low
sense of responsibility that they exhibit is something that has been nurtured over time and thus, it is easier for them to blame the outside world for their insecurities.

6. Career-wise they have the opportunity to explore their own creativity, do something of their own and generally be whatever they want to be. Yet they are pulled apart by parental and societal views of what they should become, the careers they should follow, the only opportunities that provide a steady source of income, but also a intangible valuation in terms of an acceptable and respectful career.

7. The expectation is that they will be financially stable, be able to turn their lives around at a faster pace and be able to create a security net (maybe like buying a house) for themselves because of their upbringing and the ‘entitled’ lives they have lived. They believe in it themselves, yet the realistic pressures to fulfil these expectations take their toll on them and most often they are not equipped with the life skills to re-evaluate or deal with such situations.

8. Finding a life partner has become a greater challenge because most often they’re seeking ‘what is in it for me,’ the expectation that the process should have a quick turnaround time. They question if they have the time to invest in building a relationship because of the assumption they have so much to do in such a short period of time.

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