The Basics on Mental Health

mental health
PUBLISHED APR 30, 2018

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PS: We Skimm'd other Mental Health topics for you here.

The story

Millennials – and young women in particular – are reporting higher rates of mental health issues.

I know what mental health is, but I want to hear you say it.

There are a couple ways to define it. One way is that it’s basically an overall look at how you’re doing – emotionally, psychologically, and socially. Part of being mentally healthy is about proactively creating a positive environment for yourself.

What causes people to struggle with their mental health?

Lots of things. Some factors are tied to genetics or personality traits. Others can be tied to your specific environment. Like, how you’re treated at work or in social settings. There’s also your physical health and safety, your employment status, any discrimination you’re experiencing, or trauma you’ve gone through in the past.

How are millennials doing, mental health-wise?

Not great. Millennials are reporting higher levels of mental health issues than older generations. Teens and college students are also experiencing rising rates of depression and anxiety. Women in particular are prone to things like depression.

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Why is this happening?

We don’t know. The rise in depression and anxiety symptoms has been going on for decades, and keeps getting higher. Experts have a few ideas. Like...

Perfectionism...younger people have really high standards for themselves – and lots of self-criticism. Some of it’s self-imposed. Some of it’s coming from social pressures. Speaking of...

Social media...it’s not helping. Insta is not real life. Scrolling through your feed – and comparing yourself to others – has been linked to depression.

External conditions...mental illness can be tied to things ranging from stress at work to your socioeconomic status. Experience with gender-based violence may also help explain why women are more likely than men to experience depression and anxiety.

Physical health...your physical and mental health are related. Researchers think what you eat could impact how you feel. Meanwhile, eating disorders – an especially deadly mental health illness – are still on the rise.

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Mental health is central to how we live our daily lives. Learning more about your mental health situation can be a big step toward taking care of yourself.

More on Skimm MD: Mental Health here.

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