I recently tweeted that I’ve had the kind of year where if you read it in a book, you’d be like ‘Okay, that’s a bit far-fetched.’ and when it got to the stage where my sister’s therapist asked if I was okay, it felt like it might be time to do something about it.
The fact that I opened up on social media before actually seeking help made me reflect on Gen Z and how as a generation, we tend to deal with trauma in a bit of a muddled and perhaps performative way.
Relationship expert Dr Shauna Springer refers to Gen Z as the ‘Nothing is Private Generation’, which is probably something to do with the fact we live stream our mental breakdowns and also the reason my Twitter’s on private. Why then, are we also a generation who struggle to do much about it?
I’m a big fan of saying ‘no, I’m fine’ while ugly crying, or ending a six-paragraph-long rant with ‘oh well.’ and I’m certainly not alone in practicing this strangely passive attitude. Studies have shown that as a generation, 46% of us struggle to discuss mental health with our doctors (Safeio 2020), and 47% who have taken time off work for their mental health have given their employer a different reason for their absence. Maybe it would be easier to discuss if it were professional to end the message with lol.
We joke about things in public that we cry about at home just to avoid the awkwardness of people thinking we’re struggling. Let’s stop joking about being depressed and actually do something about it, because it’s all very well conflating our trauma with humour, but we gotta fix it too.
It’s one of those annoying things where what’s good for you is harder. In the same way that we sometimes have to opt for wholemeal pasta, therapy is probably worth chucking in there as a default response when we struggle to cope – obviously alongside the self-deprecation.
So, next time you’re taking a day off work, don’t pretend you have the shits because you think it’s less embarrassing, it is so very not.
Don’t overthinking it lol, go to therapy <3