We are finally starting to see a major paradigm shift in the way mental health treatment is viewed.
While older generations are often resistant to mental health treatment, younger generations are much more open-minded. In fact, a 2015 study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) says that 60% of persons age 18-25 see getting help for a mental health concern as brave. Unfortunately because the oldest generations, particularly those older than Baby Boomer, grew up with tremendous stigma about seeking mental health treatment, their perspective is much different. Many persons in the older generations see mental health conditions as all in one’s head and certainly not requiring psychotherapy, medication or other holistic approaches.
All generations deserve to be as mentally healthy as possible. Know that if your loved one or patient is from the oldest generations that he or she probably won’t use words like “anxious” or “depressed” to describe mental health challenges. Family, friends and healthcare providers must be more sensitive to changes in personality, moodiness, withdrawal, and lack of interest in activities that were previously looked forward to. When symptoms like these are observed, address and encourage that person to consider treatment. It may not happen right away as generational stigma about mental health treatment is quite strong. But if you are patient and persistent, you may be part of the paradigm shift where all generations are more open to mental health treatment.