Wellness

Generation Anxiety: Why Young People Are Worrying More Than Ever

Millennials are twice as likely as baby-boomers to be diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Social media, the rising cost of living, and an overall sense of hopelessness about the state of the world may be to blame.

By Kate Leaver

Wellness

Millennials are twice as likely as baby-boomers to be diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Social media, the rising cost of living, and an overall sense of hopelessness about the state of the world may be to blame.

By Kate Leaver

Tess is a 24-year-old filmmaker living in Sydney. She is a smart, creative, ambitious young woman. She is also part of the 12 per cent of millennials who have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.  That is twice the rate of anxiety among baby-boomers.  “What makes me anxious is this niggling idea that I am inherently not enough and will never be truly loved or achieve anything of note.” This recurrent worry is just part of a disorder that, at its worst, cons her into thinking she will die. Two years ago, she became obsessed with her own mortality, checking her breasts for lumps up to 10 times a day and wondering when her life may end. With more and more millennials reporting anxious symptoms, we have to ask: could it be triggered by the frantic, uncertain world in which they now live?

“I think people my age have a huge amount of anxiety about the world,” says Tess. “To be honest, one of the ways we deal with it most is dark humour. Better to laugh at a meme about the world burning and the economy tanking than crying about it every night, right? Trump makes me sick enough to leave the room when the news comes on. The environment is in such trouble that I have to move through the world ignoring it, essentially. The Great Barrier Reef is dying and I’ve never been, but at least Queer Eye is on.”

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $7 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $7 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in