The Open Access Government: Social pressure is damaging the mental health of millennials

Channel 4’s Dispatches have revealed that 68% of 16-30 year olds think that they have had depression or another mental health problem. The Open Access Government used the latest Smart TMS exclusive research to find out why millennial depression is at an all-time high. Entitled “The Happiness Index”, the research supports Channel 4’s shocking revelations.

Why is depression becoming normalised in modern society?

The Happiness Index reports that a third of millennials are less confident than they once were. Around  32% of young people are cancelling plans to avoid spending time with people. A massive 40% spending more time alone than ever. It raises the question of why?

The Open Access Government states;

“According to Ofcom, 16-24-year-olds spend 34.3 hours a week on the internet. This may sound harmless but can often lead to a dangerous ‘compare and despair’ habit – a term coined to mean constantly contrasting your life to others. With the rise of social media comes the pressure to always be and look your best. Excessive social media use has been shown to have negative effect on mental health.”

‘Compare and despair’

With confidence significantly dented, ‘compare and despair’ could be to blame. Looking back, when previous generations were entering adulthood, there wasn’t the opportunity for them to compare themselves to others around the world. Celebrities are also making a living from displaying their “perfect” lives online. Compared to a normal life of a standard millennial in the UK, what is shown on the internet is a world away. It’s unsurprising that so many have feelings of despair when comparing their day to day life to the highlights of the lives of the rich and famous.

Reduced communication

In order to communicate, previous generations would need to pick up the phone to speak or even pay a visit to their loved ones. In today’s society, all a millennial would need to do is type a short message, taking seconds to receive the answer. By taking away the personal aspect of popping to a friend’s house, loneliness is normalised for millennials.

Humans are sociable animals. By taking away the human interaction that we need, our emotional well being can be impacted negatively. In order to feed our instinct for human interaction, we need to be doing more than texting.  Not only will regular face to face contact increase your own well being, but also that of others, too.

Knowing the signs

Huge efforts have been made to take away the stigma attached to mental health issues. However, many millennials don’t associate their symptoms with depression or anxiety. The Open Access Government spoke to the CEO of Smart TMS, Gerard Barnes;

“The research indicates that many Brits, but especially millennials, simply are not getting the same joy from previously loved hobbies, friends and even family. Alongside this lack of enjoyment, many people are reporting an increase in a desire to be away from other people and social situations. These are clear signs of depression and anxiety, which are often characterised by low self-esteem, an increase in substance abuse and a loss of the ability to carry out simple functions without overthinking.

At Smart TMS, we recognise that many millennials may be unaware that what they are feeling constitutes as depression and anxiety. As a result they are not aware of the need to look after themselves. They may not be seeking effective treatment for their conditions. More needs to be done to help people recognise symptoms of mental health conditions within their own behaviours and respond accordingly.”

Smart TMS

Are you a millennial suffering with a mental health condition, such as depression? Or do you think your loved one would benefit from treatment for their condition?

Smart TMS currently offers mental health treatment to patients over the age of 18. We see an impressive 60% of our patients go into complete remission. Response rates are also high with 75% overall seeing a significant improvement in their quality of life. Our team of friendly patient advisors are on hand to explain how TMS can improve symptoms of depression.

We don’t only treat depression and anxiety, either. We also treat: OCD, PTSD, addictions and more.


Depression can make you feel like your world isn’t worth living in. Treatment is available and Smart TMS can help. We have clinics across the UK and Ireland and welcome you to visit to meet your practitioner. Please contact the team if you’d like to arrange a visit.


For any other queries or for patients wishing to book an appointment at one of our UK clinics, please contact us:

Irish patients may prefer to contact Dublin Clinic direct on: