News Event Article
Depression rates in millennials and Gen Z:
Data shows that depression rates have soared among adolescents and millennials by 47% in the past 7 years. A study done by Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index doesn’t think the rise will stop any time soon either- as depression diagnoses are rising faster than any other age group. What is the cause for this dramatic rise in depression in the younger generation? While there can be many variables in depression, Karyn Horowitz, MD, says that “Increased use of electronics- video games more commonly in boys and social media and texting more commonly in girls.” Dr. Horowitz says. “For some kids, video games can become an addiction, leading to social isolation, poor school performance, and impaired sleep.”
Screen time and lack of face to face connection might be factors that are contributing to depression. Another nationwide by Global Health Service study reveals Gen Z to be the most lonely generation in America. Their ultimate conclusion is that loneliness is due to a lack of connection. Global Health Services also states loneliness can not only exacerbate conditions of depression and anxiety, but also increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Rates of depression, anxiety, mental health, and loneliness are statistically proven to be rising among millenials and Gen Z.
Does social media have an effect on depression in Gen Z and millennials? While many wonder in social media is to blame, mental health experts say that many studies conclude social media may increase depression and loneliness. Kathryn Moore, PhD, a psychologist says, “Then there’s the reality that social media interactions are simply less real, substantive, and protective than ones in real life.” While there is no objective measure for the effects of social media, many studies show strong correlation between social media and depression.
While many factors in depression can be uncontrollable, there are factors that are within your control when it comes to mental health. Dr. Dimos, psychologist and professor at Colorado Christian University says, “Research shows that there are always three factors within our control. Sleep, diet, exercise, and screen time.” Implementing lifestyle changes is in no way a cure to mental health issues, but a healthy diet, consistent sleep schedule, and limited screen time will contribute to a healthier mental state.
Colorado Christian University student Bailey DeHaven started a blog and platform to elevate the importance of holistic health and proactive ways to support mental health. Her mission is to provide insight and practical ways for her generation to take care of their minds and bodies. With another major piece contributing to depression being loneliness, Bailey is also sharing her journey in relationships and how she finds connection in a generation with the highest rates of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and unhappiness. “There are many aspects of mental health that you can’t control” says Dehaven, “but let’s be mindful of the aspects we can control.” Her platform is geared towards millenials and Gen Z who are seeking a more sustainable lifestyle for their mental, psycial, psychological, and spiritual life.
This article is for the Dever Post to inform the community on depression in Gen Z and Millenials, and inform them on statistics and commentary of mental health professionals. This post can be for any generation, as it is an informative article. While this article is for the Denver Post, this information could go national.
Journal Article Analysis
In her article, “Living a Holistic Life,” Dr. Rachel Eva defines the meaning of “holistic” and it’s implications. Two things immediately stuck out to me before I began the article. First, Dr. Rachel has a doctorate and multiple certifications in the field of psychology. Her credentials communicated that her post is reliable and credible. Secondly, Dr. Rachel is the founder of IWA (Integrative Wellness Academy) and is also an Integrative Life Coach & Health Practitioner. Her experience with a holistic lifestyle adds to her credibility as well. I approached this critique humbly.
Her article is basically a compilation of definitions. She starts the article by defining the term ‘holistic’ and ‘holism’ as she has recognized the term has made its way into pop culture in many forms. I respected this approach because a fundamental part of psychology and psychotherapy is defining your terms. Without being clear on a definition, the rest of the article could be interpreted through a different lense. Dr. Rachel defines holism as “The theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts. Holism is often applied to mental states, language, and ecology.”
Her implications are that every part of us (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual) are interconnected and have an effect on one another. She says that, in order to have the best life possible, we must care for each part of us. She defines mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and ends with practical ways to take care of each part.
I first want to commend Dr. Rachel for the clear and accurate explanation of holism and the four parts of self. Her ‘big picture’ approach is both simple and intriguing. I would agree with her statement, and to take it a step further, There is scientific proof that your mental and emotional health affects your physiology. Harvard has multiple studies on the link between emotional and physical health. I've seen this happen the other way around, too. Your physical health can in turn affect your mental health. We are much more than rigid boxes of "social life" "spiritual life" and "physical life".
I would agree with the premise of Dr. Rachels article. Her view of holism and integration is researched and has proven successful. Although, I would reject the simplicity of her model of living a holistic life. I think her view denies the superiority of one's spiritual life. She defines spiritual as “The Spiritual System is our true-self, our personal development, connection to community, world and our connection to a higher power, whatever that definition is or is not for you.” Without having Jesus, or, any religion for that matter, her definition is unclear. In order to approach a holistic view of personhood, the meaning and purpose of the individual is essential. It gives purpose to the approach. Our “true-self” as Dr. Rachel describes it, cannot be found from introspection and personal development. True-self is found by looking outward to our creator. Of course, this critique is coming from a Biblical perspective of holism and personhood, which might not be valid to the secular holistic approach. Yet, I still think there is a valid critique when it comes to defining the term “spiritual.”
Overall, I think Dr. Rachel has an extremely well thought out article. She is clearly qualified for the work she is doing with holistic health. Although my worldview brings up some questions in her approach, I respect and appreciate her article.