Anxiety

The Anxious, College-Educated Millennials

The Anxious, College-Educated Millennials

A quick blog post before I head out and enjoy the beautiful weather...

I've noticed a trend recently. I don't have any evidence besides anecdotal evidence though, so I've been hesitant to share my thoughts. But yesterday was a tipping point.

Anyway to the thesis: 

Millennials are anxious as hell. I know, I know, everyone is anxious as hell. But there is a particular strand of college-educated, millennial anxiety that seems born from our shitty neoliberal, unequal society. 

This anxiety comes from an odd place. It's often about productivity. Productivity is the mandate of capitalism. So many millennials are constantly worried about output in every aspect of their lives. It's as if the model of the factory worker has seeped into every aspect of our lives. And productivity and hard work are the symbols of meritocracy that doesn't really exist.

The lie that these millennials seem to believe more fiercely than older patients is that America is a place of equal opportunity. They believe that everyone is on an equal playing field and that if they work hard enough, their finances and status will improve. That's a lie for a lot of reasons, which I don't want to get into here, but upward mobility has been pretty nonexistence in America for quite a long time. But there is an implicit belief among the younger generation that the more you achieve, the better you are. One's self-worth then is directly tied to what one does and not who one is. 

Sleep, the Simplest Mental Health Life Hack: 3 Ways Sleep Affects Your Mental Health

Sleep, the Simplest Mental Health Life Hack: 3 Ways Sleep Affects Your Mental Health

When I see someone for the first time in psychotherapy, and they talk about overwhelming anxiety, one of the first questions I always ask them is “How much sleep are you getting?” And almost always, it’s not enough.

We are a sleep-deprived culture. Some would even call it a public health problem. When I ask someone why they aren’t sleeping enough the answers usually revolve around 1) demanding work schedules; 2) addictions to their screens; 3) raising young children; 4) but also a lack of understanding of how important sleep is to one’s health and mental health.

Everything's Amazing And Nobody's Happy: The First Step Toward Emotional Change

Everything's Amazing And Nobody's Happy: The First Step Toward Emotional Change

Everything's amazing and nobody's happy- Louis C.K.

“To live fully is to live with an awareness of the rumble of terror that underlies everything.” 
― Ernest Becker

A few years ago, a patient of mine wondered out loud why he was unhappy. After all he was a successful lawyer, involved in a loving relationship with a partner, lived in one of the nicer neighborhoods in Brooklyn and had a group of close friends whom he saw socially. So what was wrong? "Something just doesn't feel right. I have the gnawing feeling that something should be different," he said.