Many Young Adults Struggle with Depression, Anxiety, and Feeling Unfulfilled.

One overlooked condition for young adults is loneliness. This problem is prominent in people ages 18-24. A study done by George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, in Fairfax, Va. found that 1,200 patients reported to their doctor feeling lonely, isolated and left out. More than half of the participants reported feeling they have no meaningful face-to-face interactions on a daily basis. Young adults today base friendships more on sharing information on social media than talking on the phone or going out together. Human connection thrives in the exchange of energy that happens in spending time with another person in real time.

The pressures of trying to “make it all happen” are felt by many young adults as they work to achieve their occupational, academic, or financial goals. It can be difficult to find the time to cultivate meaningful relationships with others. As we grow, we change— and so do our relationships. But finding people that we click with isn’t always easy.

Even those who have meaningful relationships with others still report feeling disconnected and depressed. Some experience a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction with life, searching for happiness and meaning. Struggling with anxiety and depression, and the stigma associated with mental health problems, many turn to drugs or alcohol.

In a study published in the American Psychology Association, 63% of young adults showed symptoms of depression.

If you are suffering, you are not alone. Symptoms of depression include a depressed mood that does not lift after two weeks, lack of interest in things that you once found pleasure in, tearfulness, lack of concentration, or a change in eating or sleeping habits. Depression is often accompanied by anxiety, another common mental health issue experienced by young adults.

Young adulthood is a rapidly changing time of growth and development.

Young adults are re-establishing their identity with a greater sense of self-awareness and a streamlined list of interests and goals. It’s often a time of turbulence, rather than the misleading idea that it’s a time when everything comes together. In a way, young adulthood really teaches you to “enjoy the journey”.

If you struggle with loneliness, talking to someone you trust is not only good for your state of mind, but it can also help you work through problems. Having a support system is an important part of managing stress. Some ways to get social interaction or meet new people are:

• Join a community group
• Volunteer
• Find a support group
• Facetime or video chat a friend or family member
• Invite someone you know to coffee or lunch

If you struggle with depression or anxiety that does not abate, counseling can help.