Millennials cope with elevated rates of workplace depression


Millennials now make up the majority of people in the workforce. They are also the majority of individuals battling depression, according to Bloomberg BNA’s site. 

Individuals who were born between 1982 and 2004 are considered millennials. One out of every five millennials is said to be suffering from depression symptoms, according to a Forbes article.

The term presenteeism means to physically show up for work despite illness but still not be able to function at one’s full capacity.

According to Mashable, two-thirds of depressed millennials report that while their symptoms may not be severe enough to keep them home, their capacity for quality work is greatly diminished even if they do manage to shamble into the office.

On the contrary, absenteeism is the practice of regularly staying away from work or school without good reason.

Due to depression and millennials practicing both presenteeism and absenteeism, the U.S. loses over $44 billion annually in lost productivity.

This is because the number of days taken off by millennials fighting depression, and the days that millennials show up to work but not being able to work to their full potential.

The amount of time that’s passing while the amount of productivity is being lost as a result of presenteeism, equal to seven times the cost of absenteeism.

Here are some causes of depression defined by various sources.


  • Work relationships
  • receiving verbal or written disciplinary action as a result of depression


  • Money
  • Work
  • The economy
  • Anxiety

AH Loder Advisors

  • Failed parenting
  • Technology
  • Impatience
  • Impact
  • Environment

Simon Sinek is an author, motivational speaker, and marketing consultant. He explains why millennials are having a difficult time in the workplace.

It appears that the more educated the generation is the more depressed that generation will be.


The comparison of the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. It compares each generation’s presenteeism, absenteeism, relationships, and disciplinary actions.

Most people in the three current generations practice presenteeism although millennials have the highest rank. This is also what costs employers more money in the long run.

Generation X leads in the most people to practice absenteeism while baby boomers lead in having relationships and disciplinary actions impact their depression at work.

Millennials report depression at the highest rate. The runners-up are the baby boomers who were born between 1946 and 1964. Next up is generation X who were born between 1961 and 1981.

A study done by Deccan Chronicle shows that millennials are stressed more than any other generation. The organization conducted an online depression test that had 5,000 participants.

“What I’ve seen in the millennial group is that many people are quite open and compassionate about mental health issues.”

What the study discovered was that some of the reasons why they experience more depression is because of the relationship held with management, lack of decision-making in their roles, and no clarity in the millennials’ role and responsibility.

To date, there is no cure for depression.

Gabriela Cora, a medical director for Aetna Behavior Health says, “What I’ve seen in the millennial group is that many people are quite open and compassionate about mental health issues.” She also added that millennials may not be able to obtain the correct treatment because of the healthcare system and it lagging technological advances.

To help those suffering with depression Cora says, “Whether you’ve been seeing a type of mental health professional or it’s your first visit, bring a list of issues that concern you and try to be open.”

She said it is important to prioritize the top three challenges that keep you awake at night.

“Although it may be tough to open up to a stranger at first, mental health professionals are trained to make the process as smooth as possible,” Cora said. “The more you are able to open up about your worries, the more a qualified professional may be able to help you on your path to health and wellness.”

Read here to get five tips before seeing a mental health expert.

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