- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 4, 2018

Survey says — Millennials and Generation Z-ers are suffering from depression. Why?

‘Cause they try so hard to be perfect and can’t do it and that makes them sad. Apparently.

That, and social media.

Looks like the snowflakes are suffering from a solid case of what goes around, comes around. Living a life of “ME” doesn’t seem all it’s cracked up to be. And on that, boo freaking hoo. Go join the military or something. In fact, maybe it should be mandatory for those hitting age 18 to spend two years in U.S. military service.

Could teach them a thing or two about real life. Yes?

“When you are constantly under a literal and figurative microscope — the microscope being social media — of course you are going to become more self-conscious,” said Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist specializing in family and relationship matters, to Yahoo! News.

And these generations practically grew up in the limelight, toting selfie sticks alongside their school books, taking Snapchats with lightning speed and posting them to Facebook — all within seconds.

Those unfortunates caught in uncompromising — or worse, ugly — poses? Well, off with their heads. Social pressures to conform to perfectionism, watery as those standards might be, are harsh.

Greenberg’s comments came in context of discussing a new study published by Psychological Bulletin that found youth are increasingly under the gun to be perfect and achieve the highest of standards. The end result has been: depression.

“Research among college students and young people, for example, has found self-oriented perfectionism to be positively associated with clinical depression, anorexia nervosa and early death,” the study authors wrote. “It is also associated with greater physiological reactivity (e.g., elevated blood pressure) and ill-being (e.g., negative affect) in response to life stress and failure.”

Authors also found a link between these age groups, the striving for perfectionism and suicide.

But there’s another way to look at these findings and it goes like this: Maybe the younger generations should quit being so self-centered.

The self-centered are chronically unhappy because the world never meets their expectations — never quite gives them the adoration they seek. So the solution? Parents need to stop telling their children they’re Number One when they’re not. Schools need to stop feeding the line that self-esteem matters most — not accomplishment. Progressives need to stop handing out participation awards as if they mean something.

And youth need to get outside themselves. Do some charity; volunteer to help; focus on real accomplishments, fostering real talents, not fake. Fact is: Life without a higher meaning is meaningless. And that’s words of wisdom for all generations.

Contact Cheryl Chumley on Twitter, @ckchumley, or email, cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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