By Chelsea Crumpler
With good reason 1 in 5 Millennials face higher rates of depression and 12 percent of them are anxiety-ridden, much higher than the previous two generations, according to Psychology Today.
While looking at the trend between economic misfortune and mental health, it appears that money troubles are a cause of depression and anxiety among Millennials.
According to the Pew Research Center, older Millennials (26-33) are the best-educated generation with one-third of them having a four-year degree.
This may sound admirable, but with the student debt averaging $33,000 for two-thirds of Millennial graduates, according to Pew, they are left anxious and depressed wondering how they are going to escape the chains of debt. This is the highest student debt facing this age range compared to previous generations.
Clinical Psychology Review did a study that reported that a person is three times more likely to suffer mental health problems if they are experiencing debt, and Millennials are leaving college already in debt into a competitive job market.
Being a widely educated generation comes with downfalls. With so many well-educated people in the job market there is higher competition to find an edge to get a job. If they are lucky enough to get a job, the business can afford to pay them a lower wage because someone else will be willing to work for less.
A study showing the relationship between low-income and mood disorders by The Department of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba, in Canada, found that in the United States households with low-income have an increased risk for mental disorders.
Some 88 percent of adults making minimum wage are Millennials with 4 in 10 being college graduates, as reported by National Public Radio. On top of that, Pew reports that “the median household income hasn’t surpassed the 1999 peak,” being the longest rate of stagnation ever seen in the U.S. This puts Millennials in a constant state of anxiety for their future.
Millennial depression and anxiety appear to be side effects of corporate greed; the government has bailed out corporations, why can’t they create a stimulus to help relieve the student debt crisis? Relieving student debt gives Millennials money to buy homes, new cars and luxuries that stimulate the economy —stimulating the economy creates jobs and more jobs means higher wages.
Millennials just want to have the same opportunities as their parents and grandparents who have statistically had it easier. Is it really so much to ask for a career and a living wage? It is amazing how much mental health can improve when the most basic necessities to survive in society are met.
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