I’m a member of Generation Y, or the millennial generation. People like me were born in the ’80s and early ’90s. But I don’t like to broadcast that fact. Millennials tend to get a bad rap.
Journalists and commentators love ragging on us. They say we’re ill-prepared to deal with life’s challenges. And that, as a result, we have higher rates of mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Still, I wondered: Could it be true? Could it be that millennials really are more depressed and anxious than young people from generations past?
“I’ve definitely heard reports regarding increased levels of psychopathology among millennials,” says Mitch Prinstein, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “But I’m not sure there are data to support that.”
Still, some, like Joseph Allen, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, are concerned. Allen, who specializes in adolescent psychology, says in many cases, parents have worked too hard to make it too easy for their millennial children.
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