If you're feeling stuck, insecure, or overwhelmed, you're far from alone. According to the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of adolescents across all genders, races, and family income levels say that anxiety and depression are significant problems among their peers. Gen Z faces a unique set of mental health challenges, from putting life on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic to cultivating a healthy relationship with social media.
After all, we're living in an age of instant information, external validation, and immense pressure to succeed—it's no wonder so many young people are struggling with their mental health. With the sheer volume of unprecedented mental health challenges, there's no denying that Gen Z deserves a tailored, evidence-based approach to mental health care with compassionate therapists who can relate to their unique concerns.
Common Gen Z Mental Health Issues
There's no denying that Gen Z'ers—individuals born between 1995 and 2010—are growing up in an increased age of stress and anxiety. According to a 2019 survey by the American Psychological Association, just 45 percent of Gen Z'ers say their mental health is very good or excellent.
Although Gen Z faces a wide range of mental health concerns, some common issues include:
- Unemployment stress. Gen Z is the most diverse and educated population yet. But for many, a college degree often feels like it's worth the same as a high school degree. With so many educated people entering the workforce, about nine percent of young adults are unemployed—and these rates are even higher among people of color. Unemployment stress, searching for a new job, and financial issues can all take a major toll on your mental wellness.
- Self-criticism and perfectionism. Sometimes, your inner voice can be self-deprecating, critical, and overwhelmingly negative. Negative self-talk can take control of your life, keeping you from trying new things, or accomplishing your goals. In an age of constantly comparing ourselves to our peers, social media influencers, and celebrities, it can feel impossible to live up to our self-imposed ideals and to combat self-judgment.
- Loneliness. The COVID-19 pandemic has made all of us feel isolated, but Gen Z was hit especially hard. Research shows that 44 percent of adults under 25 don't have workplace friends, and 23 percent experience loneliness and workplace isolation. For younger Gen Z'ers, virtual learning, working from home, and living alone for the first time have further exacerbated feelings of loneliness.
- Stress and anxiety. From balancing relationships to juggling hectic work schedules, it can feel impossible to quiet your thoughts, let go of negativity, and find time for yourself. Without self-care and healthy coping strategies, stress and anxiety can take a significant toll on your mental health, interfering with every aspect of your life.
- Imposter syndrome. Gen Z has grown up in a comparison-oriented culture, constantly questioning whether their real lives—the ones lived outside of social media—stack up to others. The sea of status updates can make it feel impossible to avoid FOMO, and you might feel like you'll never be as successful as your peers.
Breaking the Silence and Ending Mental Health Stigma
Although Gen Z might be the generation to de-stigmatize mental health, simply opening up about mental health issues does not necessarily treat their underlying problems. Along with talking about mental health, it's essential to prioritize self-care and seek professional mental health support when needed.
If you're experiencing mental health problems, starting therapy can help you navigate your emotions, thoughts, and feelings. craziness. We're living in unprecedented times, and living through so many unknowns can take a huge toll on your mental health. Even if you're not living with a diagnosed mental health condition, therapy can help you feel more secure, have an easier time setting boundaries, and help you feel less overwhelmed by daily life. As we return to the "new normal," it's important to put yourself back out there, understand your mental health, and find the support you need.
At Charlie Health, we offer individualized virtual mental health treatment for high acuity adolescents, young adults, and their families. Unlike traditional online therapy programs, our intensive outpatient treatment program offers high-quality treatment for clients who need more than once-a-week therapy sessions. Our compassionate, experienced therapists will meet you where you are so you can gain insights into your mental health and start feeling better