If you’re a millennial, you’ve been immersed in information technology since your early childhood; your reality is very different from what your parents experienced at the same age. You spend a lot of time on mobile devices, the Internet and social media, and you may be wondering about their impact on your health and the place they should occupy in your life.
Adapting to a changing world
The increased use of technology poses new challenges. Addiction to video games or social media is a growing problem, as is bullying, which now takes many forms. In the past five years, 15% of young people 15 to 34 years of age say they have experienced cyberbullying or cyberstalking.1
At the same time, young people must adapt to many situations, such as the divorce of their parents, lone-parent families or stepfamilies, and moving away for school. Given today’s very competitive environment, they may put pressure on themselves regarding their studies or their parents’ or employer’s expectations. When you add in financial troubles, climate change, political conflicts and the desire to project the ‘perfect image,’ it’s not surprising that some young people have trouble adapting.
When problems arise
In this context, serious mental health problems can arise, ranging from mood disorders to substance use problems, depression and suicidal thoughts. About 50% of youth who have had a mood disorder have also had suicidal thoughts in their lifetime.2 This means that if nothing is done, problems can keep coming.
The importance of asking for help
Despite some openness to mental health issues, talking about them is still hard. For example, less than half of young people with depression or suicidal thoughts sought professional help.3
If you identify with this or recognize people close to you in this situation, there are many people available to listen and help you see more clearly. Don’t keep your problems to yourself! Talk to people you can trust, health professionals or suicide prevention organizations. Accept the help available and take the time to restore your health!