Updated date:

5 Reasons Why Millennials Are So Depressed


Poppy is the author of A Bard's Lament and the Black Diamond series. She lives in Enoshima with her husband and young son.


It seems that everyone is depressed lately. In particular, millennials (those born between 1980 and the early 2000s) seem to be suffering from some kind of depression or lack of will to live. Millennials are accused of being lazy, unmotivated, and negative about life in general.

Of course, we see way more cases of depression in the 21st century because we, as a society, can recognise and understand mental health issues a lot more. But that can't be the only reason. The rise of depression cases, young people taking medication such as Prozac, and even the spike in dark (but often amusing) depression and suicide memes indicates there is something more than an increase in diagnosis.

1. We Don't See a Future

People tend to actually be happier in countries where there is room for improvement. People want to know that the future is bright, even when the present isn't as good. This actually makes a lot of sense, as many first-world countries that are said to have it better than everyone else tend to be the countries with all the depressed millennials.

If you know that this is as good as it gets and "it will only go downhill from here", then it's easy to think "what's the point in trying?" After all, if there is nothing good waiting for you, then you are going to be in the same position whether you work hard or not.

The "baby boomer" generation could buy a house, afford to have two or three children, go to university, and live relatively debt-free. These things that were perfectly normal 50 years ago are out of reach for most young people today.


2. The Economic Crash in 2008 Killed a Lot of Dreams

Most people who are young adults now were children or teens when everything went belly-up in 2008. We are at the age where we were told as kids that if we worked hard and followed our passions, we would make it. Now we are told we are lucky to get a minimum-wage paying job. We are told that dreams are only for those who can afford it.

We still see the theme of "if you want it badly enough, you'll get it" in Hollywood and Disney. Of course, people still reach their goals and have dreams, but it seems much further away than it did 10 years ago.

We are bitter that we didn't really get to enjoy "pre-crash" life. Children born in the 1990s were in high school when they were suddenly told to "take any job you can, even if you hate it, and be grateful you're not homeless." The future was suddenly very bleak, and we resent it.

3. We Get Blamed for Everything by the Older Generations

You may or may not have already seen this collage someone made of clippings saying what millennials were killing on Reddit.

Most of the reasons millennials are "killing industries" is down to money. We can't afford a house; to many young people, this is something only the rich can afford. We work long hours for a very small amount of pay, and therefore don't have spare cash to have a gym subscription, go out to fancy restaurants, and stimulate the economy by going shopping every weekend.

And yet people like journalists above think it's appropriate to blame us for everything. If you grow up in a world where you have to go to university and land yourself in thousands of dollars' worth of debt, grab the first job you can and hold onto it even if it crushes your soul and has nothing to do with your degree, and find somewhere to live that you can actually afford even if it sucks, and then be blamed for large businesses crumbling, then who can blame you for becoming depressed?

Everything from social media to politics to climate change is blamed on us. Being told we suck while at the same time being told the future is hopeless, is it any wonder young people are struggling?

4. We Crave the Romance of the '90s

If you haven't seen it yet, a post on Tumblr summed up the "sad adult" syndrome of young adults today. The post suggests it's only "'90s kids", but it could easily apply to millennials in general.

The way it's presented is a little crude but it hits the nail on the head.

Maybe, as the post suggested, we feel sad because our past is as bright as our future is bleak. We crave easier, simpler times where we were promised a great job if we followed our dreams, a house, and a family just like our parents got.

5. Fears of the Future for Earth

Millennials aren't only worried about their personal future. As depressing as a bad job and endless debt is, personal dissatisfaction isn't even the worst of it.

We are constantly bombarded with worries of the environment, world wars, dangerous laws, terrorism, natural disasters, and corruption. The internet is a wonderful thing, but it also means we can get breaking news straight away and be aware of all the terrible things happening across the world at once.

Everyone is different, but I'm sure most people would agree that waking up to another mass shooting, terrorist attack, earthquake, or some other disaster puts a bit of a downer on your day.

Of course, we aren't the only generation to suffer worries of wars. I'm not saying we have that worse than the older generation. But it is always there.

I'm not saying there was ever a "golden age" where everyone was happy and life was perfect. What I'm saying is stop blaming us for everything, have a little heart, and try to understand the struggles that young people face. Thankfully, with the growing awareness of these problems and plenty of online and in-person therapy and help, we can help solve these problems and give young adults, many of whom are promising and talented people, some hope.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: Am I just a dumb, sleezy, worthless millennial with no ambitions or goals? Will I always be destined for failure and misery? When will I go back to being simple and cool?

Answer: You are who you choose to be. Unhappy with life? Make the necessary changes.

© 2017 Poppy


Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on October 12, 2019:

A great comment! I really wish we could all put aside our differences (include age) aside and band together for the better.

Robert on October 12, 2019:

I think the Millennial's have the talent, determination, resources and intelligence to make a big difference in the future, We the Baby Boomers need to come to the realization that they will be running the world one day and as we age, we will need them more than ever. So let's give them a chance.

jayders1027 on September 04, 2019:

this article is mind blowing. so many true aspects of it. Frankly I don't believe that ALL millennials are lazy, entitled, or delusional. however there are millennials that did get lucky enough to grow up in a privileged environment where they were allowed to be lazy and behave as spoiled brats became the entitled people they are today. Again not to generalize because there are also millennials who grew up in a privileged environment and did not get spoiled, they were raised to work hard. I agree that we as millennials grew up expecting the future to look like Meet The Robinsons which I am not going to lie sounds pretty cool to me. However we live in a world where opportunity is hard to come by now. skills no matter how developed are still not as valued as they used to be. our generation is filled with controversy given that we are open minded about everything but disagree on anything. no wonder we have so many psychosocial issues in our generation in comparison to the angry generations before us like generation x and baby boomers

Holmes on July 10, 2019:


You lazy turd millennials are so entitled and delusional. You don't want to put any time in working, investing in any future, but want top dollar and spend your not so hard earned money on crap like coca-loca-mocas at Starbucks for $7 a pop or sushi or some crap that has no value. You want a "new" car, when I had to rebuild the engine and paint my car before I could drive it. I worked on lawnmowers, picked trash, helped neighbors/friends for anything I could make a buck on . . . . . AND STILL DO!!!!! I look at all the boys(including my son) and see how they are all addicted to video games as per parents "restrictions" only to generate an addiction parallel to heroine all in the name of the parents justifying it so they can have "some free time"! They have no sense of value or sacrifice for ANYTHING. I warned the piece of crap I married of this when my kids were first born, and it went behind my back and generated a hugh issue with my son sneeking a video game to my son. I reuse my coffee cups to save a dollar or so, save all my change(yes I actually pay for things with actual money!!!!), and will wrap it at Christmas time. Repaired used trash picks and "gifts" from friends. I don't travel like a chicken with my head cut off so I can post it on facebook so I can look all impressive and get un needed attention. To the contrary I have traveled quite a bit and don't feel the need to impress anybody! I wear my teeshirts with holes in them under my "good" ones. I don't waste money on women anymore either. LET THEM PAY! I manage my life with efficiency planning my day errands as to minimize my fuel consumption. I do my own landscaping, painting, appliance repair, cleaning, and keep my life as simple and manageable as possible while still having a fair life. My "smart" cell phone cost $50 brand new, so I bought five. So if it accidently ends up in the hotstub or washing machine I take the sim card out and put it in another in two seconds! No trip to the "I-phone" store. My phone literally does everything my daughter's does except I don't have a stupid annoying light that they all over use. Her phone was like $900. So maybe the "mellenials" need to make better choices? Cook at home, save your money, set some real life goals, spend more time working, less time on your phone and crap, car pool, plan your errands, stop trying to impress everyone else, oh and did I say SAVE YOUR MONEY? I had to trash pick lawnmowers to cut peoples grass to make money, trash pick bicycles to ride a bike, worked at my parents house to help out for FREE!!!! Oh and what about popping kids out like popcorn??? Who pays for that? try losing a nail or stitching up your own cut with a needle and thread. Check out the CDCs website on you diseases! WHY? And by the way your article sucks because you have no real life experience just entitlements!

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on November 30, 2018:

Your article is great too! Thank you so much for commenting.

Sean on November 30, 2018:

Wow this is a very powerful article and really hits home. We share so many if the same ideas. I felt a need to write something similar the other day. I'll leave a link if that's okay so you can see. But it's great to see I'm not the only one who feels this way!

I see you don't usually let people link to their own stuff, but I just wanted to show you!


Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on May 09, 2018:

Yes, I agree! I suppose we just hear about it more now because of the internet.

Random Individual on May 09, 2018:

Older generations hating on newer ones isn't just a recent phenomenon, It's always occurred throughout history. Juvenoia is the action of older generations hating on newer ones. Millennials aren't the only ones to deal with this problem, it has always been a problem for all generations.

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on December 22, 2017:

Hi there, thanks for commenting.

I did say in the article that older generations had similar problems, such as world wars and the Cold War.

Whose fault is it that twenty year olds aren’t independent these days? You could blame the parents, but I think it’s more about money. Fifty years ago it was reasonable for the average young person to be able to buy a house and get married at 20. Most people would find that laughable now. Most 20 year olds are already in debt.

Laura on December 22, 2017:

Do you really think people from generations ago have not had the same worries? I grew up in the 1970's and there was always talk about the end of the world. I still love watching science fiction and documentaries about the end of the world, as a planet or a civilization.

I think young people were not given enough to do, on their own. They have grown up without feeling capable of doing for themselves. Most of my nephew's friends had never taken a bus. They had never done any cooking (microwave popcorn does not count). There are so many things all these young people have not done which I took for granted when I was a young woman and teenager.

I believe young people can do all these things, and more. Think less - do more. Stop taking so much medication with depression as a side effect - that could be a good start.

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on December 11, 2017:

Haha yet you point all this out to them and they deny it :) People back then had problems too, but it's definitely harder now. I've lost all hope in having my own house and a large family. Thanks for commenting, Angel.

Angel Guzman from Joliet, Illinois on December 11, 2017:

As a 32 year old in 2017 I know for a fact things were way better for my dad when he was 32 in 1973. Unions were strong and you could make a living wage with a high school diploma. You could buy a house and a car. Raise a family with one parent at home. Today both parents work because wages aren't enough. Those who grew up after FDR's Presidency had it easy.

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on December 01, 2017:

Hi, Flourish! Yeah, this is the article that got 10k views on Reddit, which is certainly nothing to be depressed about at all! I'm actually not depressed anymore, I used to suffer from it but it wasn't to do with my age, it was personal reasons. Each generation certainly has its own challenges. Thanks for your feedback!

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 01, 2017:

Well Poppy, this apparently went viral given the number of responses you have so far on that poll! That’s nothing to be depressed about eh? Honestly other generations had some of the same concerns. My parents faced a mortgage interest rate of 12% and felt really lucky to get such a sweet deal because some were as high as 17%. Jobs were hard to find when I graduated college (with large student loan debt at 8 1/2%). Each generation has its own set of unique challenges as it enters adulthood. It will work out.

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on November 24, 2017:

Thanks, Pam!

Pam Morris from Atlanta Georgia on November 24, 2017:

This is a compelling article that needs to be read. I believe many young peoples deals with depression and some have lost their way and it not easy for them to find their way back. When I was their age, I didn't have problems I found myself acting amateur and taking for granted I had time to mess off when I should have been preparing for the future.

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on November 24, 2017:

Thanks for commenting!

TumblrQueeen on November 24, 2017:

Wow, this... sums it all up perfectly...

Related Articles