Mental health check

Lately I've been noticing that almost everyone around me is going through some form of depression. If these people aren't depressed they're at the very least not happy/ unsatisfied with their lives

I don't consider myself depressed but I find myself unhappy in many situations and haven't been able to recall a time where I wasn't anxious/ relaxed/ fulfilled for the past year.

Most of my personal anxiety came when I broke up with my ex, had a fallout with some friends, get yelled at by bosses, and even family issues. It's not exactly big problems but it's starting to take a toll on me

Where is everyone else at? Am I just a snowflake? Is this something that most people in their early 20s face?

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Comments (13)

Most Helpful
May 8, 2022 - 12:50pm
Stonks1990, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Anyone who tells you that you are a "snowflake" for experiencing routine bouts of depression and mental health barriers is not someone who has a grip on reality, nor is someone that you should even want to consider being a part of your life. Mental health is real shit. The people who downplay it are those who are stuck in some 1950s-style hardo-grind-death mentality and have been lucky not to experience their share of depressive and anxiety-inducing issues. 

The biggest thing about mental health is that it's not as visible as other things. If you have cancer, you lose your hair once you start chemo. Your skin has changed, you look different. People can look at you and think, "huh, that guy has something wrong, maybe I'll feel bad for him" or something similar. With mental health, it's different. You could physically look as healthy and happy as ever, and from personal experience, you get really good at hiding it. There's a reason that whenever you hear someone taking their own life, their closest friends sometimes say "but why, they were so happy! I never saw it, this can't be true!" 

Take care of yourself. Try to take a step back and figure out what you can control to reduce the anxiety and depression you face, even if it seems like a daunting task. Compartmentalizing things, understanding that you are limited in what you can control, and learning to take some deep breaths will go a lot farther than you may realize. There are so many external things that you've gone thru that may play into how you feel, but at the end of the day, happiness and lack of depression come from making intrinsic changes - I know, easier said than done! 

Don't be afraid to reach out to see someone once or twice a week, and use the resources you have to ensure your mental health is good. Wishing you the best of luck, hang in there my friend. I've been in places so dark that I thought I would never see the light, yet here I am - happy. Be well!

May 8, 2022 - 1:05pm
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:


Don't be afraid to reach out to see someone once or twice a week, and use the resources you have to ensure your mental health is good. 

Not just the rest, but absolutely this. Reach out and ask to be heard (and no, that's not some snowflake bull***t either). Try and find a trusted colleague, friend, family member or find a therapist you can talk things through with. There's zero shame in asking for help, and the ones that try and mock or belittle others for seeking help are the ones who really need some help!

  • 1
May 10, 2022 - 3:08pm
PeRmAnEnTiNtErN, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I will say one thing about mental health. There are short term, medium term and long term mental health problems. A lot more of the short term (short term anxiety, one time events) and medium term (short term depression from a break up or burnout) are often being treated like long term problems. So not to downplay it, but please make sure you are seeking qualified help in an appropriate manner to actually handle what you are going through.  

May 8, 2022 - 3:32pm
falconeagle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP, 100% agree with what the first poster above said - anyone who calls you a snowflake/weak for being concerned for your mental health is either an idiot or a fossil from a previous generation.

Suicide is one of (if not the) biggest killers of young men under 35 - and there's a good reason for that, even today men feel a big stigma of talking about being depressed/anxious for fear of "looking weak."

Speaking as someone who suffers from mild anxiety at college which got steadily worse over the first few years of my IB/PE career, I eventually saw a Dr and was prescribed a low dose of Zoloft which has helped tremendously. Also consider therapy which can be a big help.

You shouldn't wait until you're at crisis point OP, and please don't feel any shame (think I read that 10% of the population in western countries are on some form of antidepressants). Please consider medication or therapy if you think you need it. Good luck.

May 9, 2022 - 2:01pm
chief_hoss, what's your opinion? Comment below:

random thoughts that have helped me personally

- delete instagram (it's amazing the amount of headspace this will clear)

- exercise 5 times per week and maintain a "mindful" diet.  Doesnt have to be strict but once you become conscious of how you feel after certain meals you'll start to steer towards the foods that treat your mind and body right

- meditate or do an activity that allows you to "get out of your head" for 20 minutes a day.  Bike ride, run, yoga, etc

- try therapy.  it's way less taboo these days.  We never get the chance to talk to someone without judgement

- travel.  I took hiking trips in Southern Utah and Montana last summer.  Dying to go again this year.  Allows you to get somewhere so quiet that all you have is yourself and the surrounding beauty.  I found much needed peace out there that I was able to carry with me back to the desk

You're not alone.  Over the last year I started talking about it with friends and came to realize most all of us are going through something on some level or another.  The positive spin is these are life experiences that provide invaluable power and knowledge once digested/appreciated for what they are.

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May 9, 2022 - 5:46pm
Pierogi Equities, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm not a research psychologist by any means, and the world has always been undergoing very intense events (people always argue the times they're in are the strangest, but the beginning of the 20th century until the present we've seen multiple paradigm shifts occur, and should not be surprised if more are to come), but this is something I've noticed too, generally in the West but I assume there are similar things across the world as people rise out of poverty. Now that many have acquired the most basic needs we need to live and survive day to day (per Maslow's hierarchy), it seems like everyone is looking for some kind of sense of fulfillment. One of the hallmarks of depression and other forms of mental illness is not just a deep sadness, but also a strong lack of a feeling of fulfillment in our daily lives, our work, and what we do for pleasure, and that bleeds into how we interact with one another.

In my personal view, I think this has something to do with the decreased emphasis on spirituality (religious and otherwise) and self-actualization in more modern times. It's no coincidence that practically every major religion talks about some form of self-fulfillment and the journey of life. I'm not advocating everyone to become a bible-thumper, or even become religious for that matter, but I think it would be helpful if everyone once in a while reflected on their lives and thought critically about what's important to them.

That being said, I'm also not a doctor, but through what a lot of great people have said on WSO and in my personal life, learning to take of ourselves physically can also have profound effects on our psyche. Eating right, exercising, sleeping right, etc., these are all things people have done for millennia to help improve their lives. I've noticed in my own life reduced negative thoughts/feelings when I take care of myself, I know there is obviously a lot of academic data on that.

At the end of the day, exogenous factors can certainly help, but I think for the vast majority of people we need to learn to better take care of ourselves, mentally and otherwise, and I'm confident this will have a positive impact on how we view ourselves and our sense of self-esteem, help us all work towards our goals, and also teach us to support one another.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

  • 8
May 10, 2022 - 1:11am
jpear, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Pierogi Equities

 One of the hallmarks of depression and other forms of mental illness is not just a deep sadness, but also a strong lack of a feeling of fulfillment in our daily lives, our work, and what we do for pleasure, and that bleeds into how we interact with one another.

This is what gets to me. As someone who is in their early 20s I often keep asking myself "is this really it?" but I guess I've still got a long way to go lmao

May 10, 2022 - 11:11am
MonkeyNoise, what's your opinion? Comment below:

NOT downplaying mental health but it is fixable without therapy or medication for most people. It's recognizing that what you are doing in life isn't working, having confidence in yourself to try and change it, and also understanding that everyone gets waves of depression and that it'll pass. Things we think matter for happiness ultimately dont - money is nice to provide essentials, but if you are using it to value yourself then you will always look around and feel inferior to those who have more. A big net worth ultimately is numbers on a screen - not something you can reach out and touch. A prestigious job only matters if it's something that legitimately interests you - if it's not then you are just doing it to please someone else (peers, parents, significant other, who knows).

Things that really matter for happiness in life:

- good diet

- regular physical exercise

- close interpersonal connections

- gratitude 

- having a mission. Doesnt have to be work related but for example could get into volunteering

- interests and hobbies

If you are posting here it means you are likely well educated, well compensated, intelligent, and have the agency needed to make major life changes. Your foundations for building the type of life you want are fantastic. Take time for yourself to really focus on what makes you happy and pursue it.

May 10, 2022 - 5:13pm
MonkeyNoise, what's your opinion? Comment below:

At each age it's easy to look at things you dont have (ex: when a teenager - money, freedom) instead of things you do (societal permission to make mistakes, no responsibilities, youth and hopefully health).

I have posted on sites such as this, fishbowl, etc. that attract high achievers and have seen people 'feeling behind' for only making six figures at 30. Or only having 150k saved at 28. Or not getting into a top tier MBA. Or whatever.

It's absurd. You are so focused on everyone around you (at the highest rung of ladder in life) that you arent even focused on your own life. Sure we are all prone to compare ourselves to other so not to condemn everyone to do that - but it's unhealthy. Hence social media being pretty toxic. 

You dont know what you have until it's stripped of you.

Your loved ones, developing chronic illness, living through TRUE financial turmoil not "look at my paper losses from the market dip lol", going to bed in a safe area, and probably things I cant even think of because I've had a fortunate life. If you are in your 20s or 30s enjoy the ability that your body is able to do basically anything and dont take it for granted. Look at that mountain and fucking climb it - because the day will come when one day you will look at it and say "I'm not able to".

May 10, 2022 - 3:13pm
PeRmAnEnTiNtErN, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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