Today’s 20-somethings are going through a number of psycho-social and biological experiences that make them especially vulnerable to depression. The importance of the 20s, depression is often triggered by loss. And the period between 18 and 29 is filled with potential losses: breaking up with a significant other, losing friends, losing a job, failing in school or not getting into an academic program, and realizing our dream career plans just might not work out.
The 20s are a time of uncertainty, which can leave people feeling powerless to change their level .Biological factors also come into play. 20-somethings are faced with making some huge decision. In some cases, 20-somethings might not realize certain lifestyle factors may contribute to depressive symptoms. Binge drinking tends to be most common and intense in people ages 18 to 24 and alcohol use disorders are closely linked to depression.
Often marked by changes in sleep schedules, which can also cause some mental health issues.
Whatever the reason for depression during this period, there are a number of ways to cope. Many involve reaching out to people we trust and making small but meaningful lifestyle changes.
- Your Action Plan
According to little evidence those who get depressed in their 20s will struggle with recurring depression, especially if they address it properly when it first appears.
There’s a range of practical ways to alleviate feelings of depression. This list certainly doesn’t include every way to treat depression, but it does highlight some of the most effective strategies for people of any age.
- Phone a friend or family member.
When it comes to dealing with depression at any time of life, mental health experts tend to agree social support is crucial. But reaching out to friends and family is harder than it might seem, since people tend to withdraw into themselves when they’re feeling depressed. That’s why parents can play a special role in our early 20s, says psychologist and greatest expert Mark Bans chickk M.D. Many of us start to see our parents as more loving and supportive than we did in our adolescence. So don’t feel like it’s baby-ish to pick up the phone and call Mom when you’re feeling blue.
- Get a move on.
Studies have found that exercise can be highly protective against depression and anxiety. Johnson says he recommends his patients do 20 minutes of high-intensity cardio every morning for a positive energy boost.
- Hit the hay.
In Johnson’s words, sleep is the “bedrock of good mental health.” An erratic sleep schedule can cause our frontal lobe functioning to go haywire, which can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety. Need help? Try one of these tips for sleeping better tonight.
- Seek help from a pro.
While antidepressants aren’t appropriate in every situation, they can be helpful in cases where there’s a family history of depression. A doctor or mental health practitioner can help figure out the best treatment plan for an individual.
- The Takeaway
In spite of the pain it causes, depression can actually be a useful signal that something in our lives needs to change, whether that means ending a relationship or quitting a job. That said, it’s extremely important to address depression in some way, instead of just putting up with it. Though it might be difficult to admit we’re depressed, there are people, resources, and action steps we can take that will help us live healthy, happy lives long after our 20s are over.