Calling young adults ‘snowflakes’ can harm their mental health, finds survey

Calling young adults ‘snowflakes’ can harm their mental health, finds survey

The term — “snowflake generation” — is commonly being used nowadays for millennials who reached adolescence during the early 2000s. The term is generating a discontent among young people because it refers to them as being over-sensitive and taking offense easily. Now, a recent survey suggests that describing the youth as snowflakes can adversely affect their mental health.

According to the survey by British insurance firm Aviva, 72 percent of participants in the age group of 16 to 24 years believe that the term has been unfairly applied to the millennials. Also, a whopping 74 percent are concerned that it could leave a negative impact on their mental health. The survey also finds that young people are more likely to suffer depression and anxiety as half of adult respondents said they had experienced stress or anxiety in the past year.

Explaining the adverse impact of the term on millennials, Dr. Doug Wright, Aviva’s medical expert, said, “Our findings suggest that young adults are more likely to be experiencing mental health problems, so using a phrase which criticizes this age group could add to this issue. Any term used disparagingly to a segment of the population is inherently negative.”

It is believed that the term gained popularity from American author Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 book Fight Club, in which a line reads, “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” The term also generated interest for a study to be conducted on its usage and effect.

The survey also found that it is less likely for young adults to talk openly about any mental health problem, with 33 percent admitting this compared to 27 percent of all adults. Besides, 13 percent respondents said they did not seek help despite grappling with a mental disorder, compared to 7 percent of all adults.

Mental health issues in US

It is a human tendency to be emotional and would be unnatural to be “fine” at all times. According to experts, instances of being labelled with a derogatory term only serve to block emotional responses and add to the mental issues, discouraging people to open up and talk about their actual feelings.

In the U.S. too, young adults are more vulnerable to experiencing a mental condition. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016, an estimated 7.6 million young adults aged 18 to 25 (22.1 percent) were suffering from any mental illness (AMI) in the past year, as compared to 44.7 million all adults (18.3 percent) in the country. The NSDUH data also shows that about 2 million young adults (5.9 percent) had serious mental illness in the past year.

It needs to be understood that a mental problem is as real as any physical ailment. The millennials must be encouraged to talk about mental health issues and the fear of being termed a snowflake must be driven out of the system. Also, they should not be shamed for being open about their psychiatric issues. The good thing is that mental health problems can be treated with timely medical intervention. If you need assistance in dealing with emotional issues that are hampering your day-to-day life, then simply pick up a phone and connect with the California Mental Health Helpline that provides credible information on reputed rehab centers in the state. Call our 24/7 mental health helpline number (855) 559-3923 or chat online with one of our representatives for expert advice on mental disorder treatment in Florida.