If you were born between 1995 to 2010, then you are part of the Gen Z generation, one among the 80 million members across more than 100 countries!
You have grown up in an era where technology has always been an integral part if your life. Chances are, it is almost impossible for you to imagine life without smartphones or social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. While this can be a great boon, it can also sometimes be a bane due to the stress and anxiety many social platforms can bring. It is said that, today the Gen Z population are facing many mental health issues, that too at an earlier age as compared to the previous generations.
According to a survey conducted by Deloitte India, 19% of the Gen Z population in India is concerned about their mental health.
Mental Health of Gen Z in the recent years
Post the Covid-19, no generation was prepared to handle the uncertainty of the pandemic. Be it health, education, relationships, finance, and job prospects. The challenges post the pandemic have significantly contributed to or worsened mental health concerns for all, especially the Gen Z population.
In fact, 51% of Gen Z teenagers between the ages of 13-17 indicated that the pandemic had made their future hazy, while 67% of Gen Z college-aged adults agreed.
The most common mental illnesses in the Gen Z age group in India are associated with physiologic changes and drug usage. Below are the mental health disorders in India (Gen Zers) according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).
As per the data of the various reports, it is been observed that during the year 2022,
- 6.9% of Gen Z is suffering from Bipolar Disorder
- 8.5% of Gen Z is suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- 27% of Gen Z is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- 32% of Gen Z is suffering from Substance Usage Disorder
- 42% of Gen Z is suffering from Depression
- 53% of Gen Z is suffering from Anxiety Disorder
- 57% of Gen Z is suffering from Stress
MENTAL HEALTH RATINGS:
According to a Global Time report , (Source:( 1 )),
Only 41% of the Gen Z reported Mental Health was "excellent or good."
27% of Gen Z individuals described their mental health as "average" or "poor," and stress appears to be a significant contributing factor, as a 91percent of respondents of Gen Z adults reported experiencing physical or emotional signs of stress, including depression or panic.
According to the report, almost 31% of Gen Zers considered their mental health adverse and unsatisfactory in 2022.
REASONS GIVEN BY THE GEN Z FOR THEIR MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
1. Financial Concerns: Currently, the Gen Z population faces many financial concerns, including the cost of education, student debt, rising costs of living, and mental health concerns. As a result of these concerns, the Gen Z finds it challenging to focus on the many advantages of this generation, such as greater educational attainment and life satisfaction.
2. Family Separation: As a result of increased family separation, 57% of Gen Z individuals are experiencing higher levels of stress than adults, which can affect their mental health, social interactions, separation anxiety, and stress reactivity.
3. Relationships: For 87% of Gen Z, relationships are the main cause of stress, and 1 in 3 say that breaking up with their partner has a significant negative impact on their mental health leading to severe stress, anxiety, and depression
4. Workplace stigma: Stigma may result from a person's race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disabilities. Things may become even more challenging as a result.
5. Covid-19 global pandemic - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people felt stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, and loneliness. Moreover, mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, worsened.
6. Technology - In recent years, technology (social media) has become more and more influential in people's lives, which has led to the increase in mental health conditions.
7. Loneliness and Isolation: Gen Z is a generation that has been subject to the impacts of loneliness and isolation. This is evident in their mental health, which is worse than that of Gen X. With an increase in social media use and an increase in feelings of disconnection, it is essential to recognize the struggles that Gen Z face and the risks they are at.
What are the effects of harmful mental health conditions on Gen Z?
The effects of mental health conditions can range from you being unable to function appropriately to being unable to work. Some of them include the following:
1. Personal relationship breakdown, issues obtaining and holding down a job, and parental difficulties
2. The rise in substance abuse and drugs intake
3. Lack of appetite and putting up/down the weight
4. Family conflicts and violence
5. Poverty, unnecessary confinement, and low level of wellbeing
6. Lack of motivation to perform any task
7. Abuse, aggressive behaviours, or unacceptable harassment
STRATEGIES AND SUPPORT FOR THE MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESS
Talk to someone : If you are experiencing a major depressive episode or have been depressed for more than two weeks, talk to a loved one about it. Let them know how you are feeling and ask for their support. They might be able to help with strategies for support, such as reminding yourself of your goals and making sure you stay motivated so that it does not get worse before it gets better.
Seek professional help if necessary : You can also see a therapist specializing in mental health issues like depression or anxiety disorders; they will assess your situation and recommend treatment options based on what they find out about how best to treat your condition (for example, whether medication is needed or any other form of therapy, or a combination of both).
Take breaks : It is essential to take a break from stressors in life that make you feel overwhelmed or sad—and then get back up when the going gets tough! For example: If something stressful happens at work (like layoffs), try taking long lunch breaks instead of staying late; go outside into nature rather than sitting all day indoors; listen to music from your favorite band while cleaning your room/doing dishes/etc.; Take a break from the situation and try to relax for a few minutes, or even an hour or two if possible. This can be as simple as walking in nature or sitting alone with your thoughts. Still, it would help if you took some time away from whatever is bothering you so that your brain has space to process all of its thoughts without being distracted by other things going on around it
Get some exercise : Whether it is walking around the block or taking up Zumba classes at the local fitness center, getting active is one of the best ways to boost mental health by helping to reduce stress levels (and thus improve overall well-being), as well as building confidence through physical activity. You do not need expensive equipment either; find something fun like kickboxing or yoga, which will keep things interesting without costing much money!
Adequate Nutrition : Eating a balanced diet is essential for good mental health. Eating at least one serving of fruits and vegetables daily and whole grains and low-fat dairy products is also recommended. Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce depression risk, especially in women who have previously suffered from depression. Furthermore, water is essential in hydrating the body, boosting the immune system, regulating blood pressure, and aiding muscle contractions, among other functions. Getting plenty of water can help ease fatigue and irritability when you're overworked or overwhelmed.
Getting adequate sleep : Sleep is one of the most important things you can do to support your mental health. You need 8 hours of sleep each night, but how much do you need? The answer is that it depends on your sleep and schedule. If you are getting less than 7 hours per night, then it's time for an adjustment in your routine; if you're getting more than 9 hours per night, then there's probably not much more improvement that could be made by changing anything else in your day-to-day activities (unless they are directly contributing to poor sleeping habits).
There are many ways to improve sleep quality: some involve making changes at home. In contrast, seek help from professionals who specialize in this area—such as a doctor, or therapist specializing others may require seeking out help from professionals who specialize in this area—such as a doctor or therapist who specializes in insomnia issues and behavioral counselling techniques such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).
Community: It's important to remember that your community is not just the people you see every day but also the online communities you participate in. You may have a group of friends who are all taking their meds together and sharing tips on managing their symptoms. You could also find support from other groups or organizations-organizations- such as local mental health organizations or school-based programs offering such as local mental health organizations or programs that offer counseling services—that can help provide guidance and resources.
At the end of the day, we hope that this article has given you some insight into what mental health looks like for Gen Zers like you. We know that it can be challenging to open up about your feelings, especially in a professional setting. However, by starting with small steps such as asking for help from co-workers, managers or peers when feeling overwhelmed or low on energy will go a long way towards creating an environment where all employees feel supported.