Millenials: They’re (over)educated,tech savvy, passionate about social causes, and cocky.
Also called the Peter Pan Generation, these 20- and 30-somethings seem confident that the U.S. will change for the better in many social and economic ways, even as they resign themselves to a future without Social Security.
A wave of immigrants greater than the one in the early 20th Century will become part of a country already becoming culturally and racially diverse.
Children are more likely to have been born out-of-wedlock, with no stigma attached.
A generation larger than the Boomers will oversee significant sociocultural and economic shifts. The transformation won’t be as profound as to inspire another Dylan, but the times indeed will be changing . . . and already are.
All of us aging hippies ought to be comfortable with the free spiritedness of this cohort. However, it’s important to note that lots of us traded in our love beads to learn about stress as investment bankers, suburban moms, and mid-level managers.
Disability claims for anxiety and depression are on the rise, and according to a study commissioned by the American Psychological Association, the most stressed of all are Millenials.
It’s no wonder: Stressed about finding work in the career they studied for; often living with partner and children in their parents’ basement; uninsured, ironically, because of its expense; and facing overwhelming debt from loans for education.
Stress responses are often invisible, at least for a time. Pre-existing chronic conditions worsen with stress and latent ones blossom. And there can be no doubting that stress alone does a number on organs like the heart and gut.
While all organisms are designed to respond to stress self-protectively, no organism is designed to withstand long-term stress without breaking down into symptoms or breaking down entirely. Think of migraine, bipolar disorder, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, and others. Invisible.
With a visible trend toward increased stress, the Millenial Generation needs to preserve themselves and our future. There can be no reliance on Big Institutions that, with their enormous bulk, change very slowly (i.e., religion, politics, social reform, education). But in a fairly rapid response to the increased demands on mental health, therapists are returning to the ancients by teaching us how to soothe our troubled minds.
Each of us, and especially Millenials, needs to be self-preservation in our approach to family, job and education. That means tuning into ourselves through meditation and relaxation.
It’s true that the times are a ’changin’ but that doesn’t mean our individual lives will be changing soon. In order to afford being invisibly disabled now demands self-awareness, self-focus, self-care, self-responsibility, self-determination.
Getting sick isn’t cheap; that hasn’t changed
Ask any aging hippie.
Specializing in couples work, Kathe Skinner is a Colorado Marriage & Family Therapist and Relationship Specialist. An MSer herself, Kathe works especially those couples where invisible disability is present and knows the toll that stress takes on her health. For over 10 years, she and husband, David, have been Certified Instructors for Interpersonal Communication Programs . Find the schedule for their next Couple Communication Workshop at http://www.beingheardnow.com
© 2014 Being Heard
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