The millennial generation, born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, is said to be suffering from old man’s illnesses. It’s not new to hear a millennial from work complaining about back pains and wanting to order massage chairs. Some employees are using their sick leave to address their stress-induced sickness like cysts and heart diseases.
For a reasonably young generation, why are they suffering from illnesses that someone older than them usually catches? The generation has unprecedented rates of diabetes, digestive disorders, and hypertension, to name a few. Because of their illnesses, you’d think they are 50-year old individuals with bad habits and deep love for alcohol acquired since a couple of decades ago.
However, this could be a product of stress. Studies prove that stress can affect the body’s aging process. Researchers found out that a specific region in the chromosomes shows the effects of accelerated aging. A body that continuously suffers from stress can add 9 to 17 years to its original age.
In addition to physical illnesses, a high percentage of millennials are suffering from a mental disorder. Of the top ten health issues affecting millennials, six are considered to be behavioral and mental health conditions. And this is only the start. As reported by The Health Foundation, there is a considerable possibility that millennials will be the first generation to have poorer health in middle age than their parents.
Despite the numerous health and wellness fads supported by millennials, the majority of them remain unhealthy physically and mentally. Here are the common illnesses affecting millennials today:
It doesn’t come as a surprise that depression is more prevalent among millennials. They have college loans and lower wages. They are less likely to own homes and more likely to have a less secure job. Chronic stress is known to be connected to a higher probability of depression and anxiety. In a recent study, a survey was conducted in which the result shows that people who had stressful jobs had an 80% risk of developing depression within a few years in comparison to people who had less stressful jobs.
According to Blue Cross Blue Shield, the number of people suffering from hypertension is increasing. From 2014 to 2016, millennials are the most diagnosed in the US. When treating hypertension, it is rare to come across a treatment that incorporates stress management such as sleep, meditation, and socialization. Living a healthy lifestyle and reducing stress are just as important as medication when it comes to hypertension.
3. Alcohol and substance abuse
Brain research indicates that people who are more exposed to stress are more vulnerable to drug and alcohol addiction. Stress can also cause a person’s relapse to addiction. According to two non-profit organizations, Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust, members of the millennial generation are the most likely to die from alcohol and substance abuse.
4. Crohn’s Disease
Another matter of concern is the rising number of millennials who have Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This number continues to be a concern because it can result in colorectal cancer—a surprising cause of death to younger Americans.
5. Psychotic Disorders
Psychotic disorders include schizophrenia, delusional disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. These are also brief disorders caused by trauma and stress, such as the sudden death of a loved one, assault, and natural disaster.
The millennial life seems to be lively, but behind the filter is a series of probable health problems. It’s a reminder to slow down, relax, and seek help when necessary.