PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When asked, most millennials will give you an honest answer.
“A lot of my friends and people around me do suffer from depression and anxiety,” Taylor Reigard of Johnstown told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Friday.
A 2019 Blue Cross/Blue Shield study suggests a 47 percent increase from 2013 in major depression diagnoses among millennials, those in their mid-20s through their 30s.
“Most of my patients are what would fall within the millennial age range,” says Dr. Christie Sylvester at the Allegheny Health Network.
Sylvester, a psychiatrist and millennial herself, says financial depression is very real.
“People these days go on to college and accumulate a lot of college debt. They come out and try to get a job. That’s commensurate to afford a house and develop a family.”
Financial planners see this related to student debt and poor jobs.
“The triggers of depression are complicated,” says Andrew Latham, managing editor of SuperMoney.com. “There can be a genetic component. There can be life changes. It could be stress, and stress caused by financial difficulties is certainly an important trigger.”
Another trigger is social media.
“Social media contributes to setting these very high standards that people want to have this perfect American dream life and have all these things that their parents did,” says Dr. Sylvester.
But that’s just not realistic for most.
Millennials are unafraid to talk about this and get help.
“I think it’s just a lot easier. We’re a lot more self-aware. It’s easier to talk about it when everybody else is talking about it,” noted Elizabeth King of Ligonier.
And help can work.
“With getting therapy and starting medication, [patients] are doing much better or at least feeling better about their place in life within a few months,” says Sylvester.