The younger generation of millennials are experiencing a much higher risk for mental health issues than previous generations. Levels of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are becoming problematically high for today’s teens. While there may be many factors causing these issues, experts believe that more millennials struggle with perfectionism and elevated expectations which can lead to depression.
This younger generation may feel more pressure to achieve higher education, a successful career and better social standing. High personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations are causing millennials to struggle with the type of perfectionism that negatively affects their mental health. A recent study found that millennials actually suffer from multiple kinds of perfectionism including high ambitions, social pressure, and high expectations of others.
The current generation of teens and college students are dealing with more of these pressures than previous generations. They have increasingly unrealistic education and professional expectations of themselves which causes them to feel depressed and anxious when they don’t achieve their goals. Social media may also play a significant role in feelings of competitiveness and perfectionism that are contributing to mental health issues.
Seeing peers posting their achievements or noteworthy moments on social media can increase feelings of insecurity and the desire to do as well as others. Previous studies have revealed that social media sites like Instagram tend to have a negative impact on self-esteem and body image especially among young teens. Spending too much time on social media and comparing themselves with others online can lead to feelings of depression and isolation.
It is important for young millennials who are struggling with depression, anxiety and issues with perfectionism to learn to be okay with failure or not being perfect. Social media does not always show the ups and downs that other people experience. If you or someone you love is dealing with mental health issues or pressure from high expectations, seek therapy and counseling for help.