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Anxiety and Depression: Dealing with Mental Health in the Modern World

Content warning. Please note the topic being discussed including phrases being used, statistics, and images could trigger or upset readers. Reader discretion is advised.

In the world we live in today mental health is not as taboo as it was. However, there are still difficulties that come with the stigmas around different mental health disorders and today's society which will be discussed within this article.

Mental health affects everyone from different generations, races, ages, ethical backgrounds and can affect from one to every aspect of one's life.

Anxiety - According to Mind there are 9 commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders. These include: Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and Phobias. As well as, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Health Anxiety, Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) and Perinatal Anxiety or Perinatal OCD.

Depression - "A low mood that lasts for a long time and affects your everyday life." As defined by Mind. In its "mildest form" depression can just mean low spirits, whereas, in its "most severe" depression can be life threatening and make one feel suicidal.

Other mental health disorders - anxiety and depression are not the only forms of mental health Gen Z suffers with there are numerous that all come in different forms. One also commonly discussed is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. ADHD includes having difficulty concentrating, tendencies to fidget, forgetfulness, and impulsive decisions.

Approximately Generation Z (aged 10-26) is the generation with around 42% receiving a mental health diagnosis. The most common diagnoses are for Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, and PTSD.

What part does the modern world play in Gen Z's mental health disorders?

The modern world includes so much more than it used to; from technology to social media, to new and constantly changing ideas to conform to society.

As discovered by Health Match there is a wave that's been created and has surged recently for many reasons: from being more educated about the world via social media platforms, from the increase of choices Gen Z are wanting more from what they consume from brands and are more mindful in regards to ethics.

As much as the generations prior to Gen Z say that social media has had a negative impact it is also there to provide research and information to others in a more casual manner. This is seen by Gen Z turning to social platforms like TikTok for advice.

Technology is the factor which the majority of Gen Z have grown up with and do not know a world without a TV or social media or an iPhone or laptop. Which has meant their screen time has increased (also a result of the pandemic). The technological world has helped to inform and is still helping to create an increasingly interconnected world.

However, has caused Gen Z to have increased stress, anxiety, and depression with their futures from; climate change, financial situations such as debt, unemployment and other social issues and environmental issues.

What can the modern world do to reduce the stress and anxiety it is conflicting on its younger generation?

Within the new age of technology and the constant pressures from society, it is hard for Gen Z to be able to de-stress and unwind but there are a few things that they can do.

Going for a walk and getting outside -can come in many forms from playing a team sport, to walking a pet or practicing regular exercise. Regular exercise is good for your mental health and getting into a routine is good for those with depression and anxiety for reducing some of these factors.

Doing some self-care - such as taking a bath. Looking after yourself can be hard for anyone, let alone those that struggle with their mental health, so taking some time for yourself is important and can range from having a relaxing bath or shower, doing some skincare, and cleaning your room or space.

Spending time with family and friends - whether it be going out for dinner, watching a show or a film together or playing games together. These can be indoors or outdoors and can also reduce screen time by playing a board game.

Reducing screen time - is vital when it comes to helping improve sleep. Ways to reduce screen time can be done by reading a book, cooking, and doing something creative like journaling or colouring.

According to Science Direct since the Covid-19 Pandemic device usage has increased and has found that those who spent most of the day on their phone had an average of >7 hours of sleep per night.

Above are all forms of self-care and self-care looks different for everyone, what works for you may not work for a family member or friend. However, knowing what coping techniques work for you can help reduce the impacts of everyday life upon your mental health. Finding what works for you is also a trial-and-error process through which you will find things you love and enjoy helping to reduce stress.


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