People in Their 20s Keep Making These Same Health Mistakes
So, you think you can "adult."
As 20-somethings tackle what for some may be the unfamiliar terrain of a 9-to-5 job, paying bills (including tens of thousands of dollars in student debt) and struggling to have a social life in the midst of it all, it's inevitable that something will fall through the cracks. And, more often than not, the first thing millennials will neglect is their physical and mental health.
Here are a few of our most egregious offenses:
Skipping regular check-ups
As children, it was standard procedure to get an annual physical at the doctor's. If you dragged your feet all the way to the office as a kid, it's likely you're not going at all as an adult. According to a survey conducted by Zocdoc, 93% of millennials don't schedule doctor visits, with 43% of respondents of all ages saying they instead opt to self diagnose using the internet.
A number of factors can affect these findings, including the increase in work hours for the millennial generation making it difficult to find time for a doctor's appointment and the sheer price alone of health care.
Not getting enough sleep
As a society, we're getting less sleep now than ever, with an average sleep time of just 6.1 hours. Millennials suffer the worst of this pattern, with only 29% of the demographic reporting that they get adequate rest on a daily basis, according to Newsweek.
A 2010 Pew study suggested one possible cause for the discrepancy: Over 80% of millennials sleep beside their phones, which can glow and vibrate to life at all hours of the night, which can disturb sleep cycles.
Ignoring mental health issues
In the 2014 American College Health Association's National College Assessment, data showed 21.8% of students reporting anxiety and 13.5% reporting depression. And psychologists say most mental health conditions typically arise between the ages of 18 and 25, with disorders like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia cropping up in young people ages 18 to 20.
While mental health issues are getting more attention than ever with celebrities speaking out about their own experiences and an entire month dedicate to increasing awareness, there are still some pervasive stigmas that prevent people from reaching out for help.
New York City designer Jessica Walsh combats these stigmas on her Instagram account Let's Talk Mental Health, where she and co-designer Timothy Goodman post illustrations tackling stereotypes surrounding mental illness.
On her website, Walsh writes, "I hope in our generation we can move towards ending the stigma and shame around mental health issues, and I hope to contribute to this movement even if it's in a small way."