Depression Among Younger People

David Worley Fannie Mae DepressionIn recent years, we’ve seen the concept of “adulthood” change drastically.  With the current economic situation, it’s a lot more difficult for younger people to make enough money to raise families, so they’ve started having children much later.  Even with the economy recovering from the 2008 recession, unemployment remains high among young people.  There’s even a phrase now being used for recent college graduates who are in the process of getting their lives together: the “quarter-life crisis”.  According to one study by youth charity the Prince’s Trust, unemployment is actually damaging the well-being of today’s young people.  According to the study, one in three Neets (“not in education, employment or training”) between the ages of 16 and 25 regularly “fall apart” emotionally.

More than a third of the 2,000+ people polled said that they often feel anxious about everyday situations, and avoided meeting new people.  For Neets, this figure rose 56 percent, and almost half of people who were unemployed said that they often or always felt depressed.  43 percent of Neets also said that they often felt isolated.  According to the chief executive of the Prince’s Trust, thousands of young people begin to feel socially isolated without the right support, struggling with day-to-day life and slipping further and further from the jobs market.

For all of the talk about how millennials aren’t promising, it’s important to remember that these people are the future, therefore it’s important that they work to reach their full potential.  The Youth Index 2015 found that young people’s overall happiness and confidence had fallen one point since the year before, but for Neets it had dropped two points.  This figure is also five points lower than in 2013.

Of course, while this study took place in the UK, it still seems that a lot of the issues they’re talking about are relatable on this side of the pond.  Most young Americans who finish from college don’t really know where to go from there.  For the first time in their lives since they learned how to read, these children aren’t students any more.  Beforehand, the next step was always clear: elementary school to junior high school to high school to college.  But after that, it isn’t as clear.  You could choose to stay in school and get a graduate degree.  Or you could choose to start making money and join the work force.  But where do you choose to work?  At this point, it’s filled with decisions, and there’s a lot of pressure to make the right choice, as the wrong decision could have disastrous consequences.  However, even if you have no idea where to go, the worst possible decision you could make would be to do nothing.