Mental health is an important and often overlooked issue that affects the lives of millions of people, especially young people. In recent years, mental health issues among Generation Z have been on the rise. It is important to work towards mental health awareness and help Gen Z deal with it. This National Youth Day, let us learn about mental health issues among Gen Z and know as well as spread awareness on how to deal with them.
Common Mental Health Issues in Gen Z
Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, are those born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. This generation is unique in that it is the first to grow up in the digital age and has been exposed to more technology and social media than any other generation.
Unfortunately, this increased exposure to technology and social media has also had its drawbacks. Gen Z kids are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts than their older counterparts. This is largely due to the excessive amounts of time they spend on social media, which can lead to feeling isolated, inadequate, and overwhelmed. Additionally, they are more likely to experience cyberbullying, which can lead to depression and other mental health issues.
Causes of Mental Health Issues in Gen Z
There are many potential causes of mental health issues in Gen Z kids. Some possible causes include:
1. Social Media
Constant comparison to others, being exposed to unrealistic expectations, fear of missing out, and an inability to disconnect from the virtual world can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues among Gen Z.
2. Stressful Life Events
Gen Z and millennials may experience a range of stressful life events such as moving, changing schools, family problems, or a death in the family, which can lead to depression and anxiety.
3. Financial Pressures
The financial pressures of covering college tuition, rent, and other bills can be overwhelming, leading to increased stress and anxiety.
4. Academic Pressure
The Gen Z may feel pressure to perform well in school and may be overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to process and remember. The academic competition Gen Z has to face was never seen by any other generation. It is a serious situation and has a tremendous effect on mental health.
5. Lack of Face-to-Face Interaction
With more time being spent online, millennials and Gen Z are missing out on important face-to-face interactions, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Gen Z generation may have experienced trauma or abuse in their lives, which can lead to long-term mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
Other factors can contribute to mental health issues in millennials and Gen Z, including the pressure of succeeding in a competitive job market and the difficulties of transitioning into adulthood. Additionally, Gen Z faces higher levels of economic inequality and is more likely to experience economic insecurity than previous generations. All of these factors can take a toll on their mental health.
Symptoms of Mental Health Issues
Our behavioural health is affected by our mental health. Symptoms of mental health issues can vary depending on the disorder and individual but some common signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling sad, anxious, or empty
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Difficulty in concentrating on studying or daily work
- Changes in sleeping habits or insomnia
- Changes in eating habits – eating too little or too much, feeling guilty about eating, and obsessing about weight and body shape
- Low self-esteem
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
- Irritability or excessive anger
- Excessive worry or fear
- Social withdrawal
- Apathy or lack of motivation
Treatment of Mental Health Issues
Treating mental health issues in young people can be a complicated and long-term process. Depending on the severity of the mental health condition, treatment may include a combination of psychotherapy, medications, lifestyle changes, and other interventions.
Psychotherapy or talk therapy is usually the first line of treatment for young people with mental health issues. Through regular counselling sessions, young people can learn to identify, express, and manage their feelings as well as develop better coping mechanisms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can be helpful in treating mental health issues by helping a young person recognize and change negative thought patterns and behaviours.
Medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilisers can be used to help manage symptoms of mental health conditions. It’s important to work closely with a doctor to find medications that are safe and effective for a young person.
In addition, lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and limiting screen time can be beneficial for young people with mental health issues. These measures can help reduce stress, increase feelings of relaxation, and improve overall well-being.
It’s also important to make sure that young people have access to supportive, understanding environments. This may include connecting with family members, friends, teachers, or other adults in the individual’s life who can provide emotional support.
Ultimately, the best treatment for mental health issues in young people will depend on the individual’s needs and preferences. With the help of trained professionals, young people can learn to manage their mental health and live more fulfilling lives.
Gen Z must be more focused on mental health awareness and the risks that come with excessive technology use. Parents should be aware of the warning signs of mental health issues and be willing to have open conversations with their children about their mental health.
Ultimately, Generation Z must be seen as an important part of our society, with their own unique needs and challenges. This National Youth Day, let’s remind ourselves that by addressing mental health awareness among Gen Z, we can help create a healthier and more supportive society.