Mental Health Issues Affecting Young Adults

Mental health services Flushing New York

Mental health issues are on the rise in adolescents and young adults (12-25 years of age) living in the United States. In research published by the American Psychological Association, it was reported that, “More U.S. adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s, versus the mid-2000s, experienced serious psychological distress, major depression or suicidal thoughts, and more attempted suicide.”

Experts believe the reason for the increase in mental health problems in young adults is due in part to an increase of digital media and electronic communication.  Studies show that young adults are having less face-to face interactions and are spending less time with friends, neither of which are advantageous for mental health. Additionally, many young adults are feeling pressured to present a flawless physical appearance or a perfect life online. They often measure themselves against unrealistic and often fabricated ideals which can affect self-esteem. 

It was also found that young adults are getting less sleep because too much time of their time is spent on electronic devices such as smartphones.  Young adults tend to be late night screen addicts, as there is always a need to feel connected to electronic devices due to a fear of missing out. A study published in the Journal of Youth Studies showed that “1 in 5 young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media.” 

Sleep deprivation in young adults can take a toll on their mental health. A lack of sleep over time can affect mood and lead to mental health disorders such as depression.

There are steps that can be taken to minimize the negative effects digital media and electronic communication can have on mental health.  They include:

  • Minimizing  or setting time limits on screen time
  • Encouraging face-to-face social interactions
  • Taking breaks from social media
  • Putting devices on a “ Do Not Disturb” mode before going to bed
  • Monitoring and customizing social media feeds to minimize exposure to negative or harmful content
  • Building self-esteem

If someone you know is experiencing mental health problems, please encourage them to seek the assistance of mental health professional.

To schedule an appointment with a Mental Health Professional at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, call 718-670-5562.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.