The Sad Generation? Study Finds Millennials Are Stressed Out And Depressed

February 8, 2013  |  


Work, money and relationships are stressing out millennials so much that many of them are suffering from depression, according to  a new study. While rates are falling for the rest of Americans, the Millennial generation, ages 18 to 33, are reporting more stress, depression and anxiety.

An online “Stress in America” survey of 2,020 U.S. adults 18 and older conducted in 2012 by Harris Interactive for American Psychological Association found that millennials are also more likely to be told by a health care provider they have depression or an anxiety disorder. In the survey, 39 percent of millennials said their stress level increased in the past year and 52 percent say stress has kept them awake at night in the past month. “On a 10-point scale, where 1 means ‘little or no stress’ and 10 means ‘a great deal of stress,’ the 2012 average is 4.9.  But for millennials, it’s 5.4,” reports USA Today. Top stress sources for millennials are work (cited by 76 percent), money (73 percent) and relationships (59 percent), family  responsibilities (56 percent) and the economy (55 percent).

“Millennials are growing up at a tough time. They were sheltered in many ways, with a lot of high expectations for what they should achieve. Individual failure is difficult to accept when confronted with a sense you’re an important person and expected to achieve,” Mike Hais of Arcadia, CA, a market researcher and co-author of two books on that generation, including 2011’s Millennial Momentum, told USA Today. “Even though, in most instances, it’s not their fault — the economy collapsed just as many of them were getting out of college and coming of age — that does lead to a greater sense of stress,” he says.

Depression has been diagnosed for 19 percent of millennials, compared with 14 percent of Generation X (ages 34 to 47); 12 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 48 to 66) and 11 percent of those ages 67 and older. Anxiety disorder has also been cited in millennials more than other generations, 12 percent, compared with eight percent of Gen X, seven percent of Boomers and four percent of seniors.

Millennials often try to cope with stress on their own, with more than a third saying they eat, play video games, or surf the Web. “But the most common coping mechanism is listening to music, cited by 59% of young adults; 51% exercise or walk, about the same as the national average (52%),” reports the newspaper.


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  • Jaz

    You wonder why they’re stressed when you have comments like the one above. Life isn’t all daisies and sunshine for these kids. Keep in mind the demographic: 18-30. Not the tweens, kids out of high school, out of college, looking for a job in an economy that doesn’t produce jobs and is stacked full in the ones they can manage. You can’t get an ENTRY LEVEL job without experience today, so how are they suppose to work?
    Not to mention they are harassed and insulted by the older generations for being “pampered” and “soft” but who raised them? They aren’t any different from the generation before, they just have a better grasp of technology. So the vocal minority – the kids who ARE lazy and pampered- post more pictures and more videos of them slacking off while the majority are working hard and getting nowhere because for every 1 job opening there are 4 unemployed persons trying at it; and who do you think is gonna get the job?

  • Kitys


    Pampered and petted by parents who haven’t prepared them for life;
    Going to college for some bullsh!t degrees;
    Graduating from college with no direction and no clue on what to do and how to conduct themselves;
    Can’t find a job because their bullsh!t degree hasn’t taught them any hard skills;
    Moving back home with their parents and treated like children again;
    Living their entire lives on the internet…

    I wonder what they have to be stressed and depressed about??

    • Jesus, the Universe, Save Us!

      If they weren’t pampered and petted by parents, they were abused and/or neglected by parents and, still, were not prepared for life…many Generation X-ers as well…

    • Kenedy

      Or you could look at it this way…cost of living is higher, there’s an over saturation of college degrees, driving down the worth of a degree, there’s less job creation, they have to compete with baby boomers for jobs because the retirement age keeps getting pushed up & who have years of experience compared to them, they are investing into a social security system which at this point i doubt they’ll ever see that money back,they are humiliated to have no other option but to move back in with their parents, plus not being able to pay back their student loans, and in addition, their children are getting masscred in school shootings which has become a norm…..just another point of view