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Stress and Anxiety Among Millennials
Pressure from busy college class schedules and work schedules are stressing out the Millennials (those aged 18 to 33). Combine this with the anxiety of wondering if there will be a job after all this hard work and these are just a few of the reasons that researchers speculate the Millennials suffer the most stress and anxiety in the country.
The American Psychological Association (APA) also suggests that this young group has not developed proper learning strategies for managing stress, partly due to a limited amount of intervention from their primary health care provider. The APA survey, Stress in America: Missing the Health Care Connection, states that the average stress level for America is 4.9 on a 10 point scale. A healthy level is 3.6. Millennials reported a 5.4 level of stress.
College and Then the Job Search
Some students are trying to juggle 12 to 15 hours of classes while working another 20 or more hours a week to pay for their education or living expenses. Add to the pressures of school work and holding down a job the fact that the economy has not been kind to recent graduates. While still in college, students are fearful of being able to later find a job in their field of study.
The stress has increased in the last year for 39 percent of young Americans. Fifty percent say that the stress was so oppressive that they have had sleepless nights in the last month.
Trying to Cope
In their busy schedules, the Millennials would benefit by fitting in coping strategies for stress. In the survey, 49 percent of the young adults said they did not think they were doing enough to manage their stress. The survey also revealed that the depression rate and anxiety rate are also both increasing in this generation.
Overall, for Americans of all age groups, the news about stress rates was good. There was a four percent decline in extreme stress since 2010. Also, less people are using alcohol and overeating as unhealthy attempts to cope with their stress.
Getting Help From Healthcare Providers
The APA believes that these good overall trends could be even better with direction and assistance from health care providers. CEO, Norman B. Anderson, PhD., stated that our country needs to address stress and its treatment in order for all Americans to become healthier and to help lower health costs.
A very small percentage of the Millennial group surveyed said that they received stress or behavior management help from their primary doctor. All age groups were surveyed about the stress management care they received from their primary physicians. Millennials had the lowest percentage of satisfaction of all groups. A small 23 percent said they did get a lot of support from their doctors on mental health, but only 17 percent said that they had ever talked to their doctor about stress management.
Researchers believe the key to better mental and physical health is for patients to relay their stressful symptoms to doctors and for those doctors to help them find the proper support to manage their stress.