39% of millennials are currently experiencing a life crisis

A recent survey paints a picture of a generation grappling with some hefty life issues

Millennials, defined as being born between 1981 and 1996, are officially “adulting,” but it seems like the parties are on hold. A recent survey by the Thriving Center of Psychology paints a picture of a generation grappling with some hefty life stuff.

The survey, conducted in April, polled more than 1,000 millennials, with an average age of 35. It found 39% reported experiencing a life crisis this year, with 64% having already faced one in their lifetime.

During a life crisis, people will commonly experience weight fluctuations, increased alcohol consumption, therapy, and appearance changes, such as changing hair and clothing styles. They also struggle with five primary mental health issues: anxiety, depression, loss of purpose, sadness and burnout, the center reported.

Dr. Tirrell De Gannes, a clinical psychologist, attributed these crises to a combination of unrealistic expectations, financial struggles and the impact of social media on mental health, according to the Thriving Center of Psychology.

“Millennials are experiencing these symptoms for a variety of reasons including but not limited to; growing up with the expectations of moving out at a young age and being self-sufficient without the resources,” De Gannes explained. “They’re also making far less money than is necessary to live independently (even if it is more than their parents), and dealing with the proliferation of social media and its effect on mental health through constant comparison.”

The report found that 1 in 10 experienced a life crisis around the age of 34, while half expected to face one in the future, with the average anticipated age being 44. However, 81% said they believe they can’t afford a midlife crisis, and 58% don’t have time for one.

“Being told the same old tropes of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, getting married at a young age, buying your own home after getting your ‘adult’ job, etc. leads to feelings of inadequacy,” De Gannes said. “When most to all of your goals are unreachable or further from reach than they were before, we compare to those that have succeeded on social media, and access to mental health support seems like a distant luxury, it is easy to fall into a feeling of being trapped.”

To overcome these challenges, experts encourage millennials to seek support from family, friends and mental health professionals. By fostering open conversations about their unique struggles and recognizing there is no singular path to success, millennials can break free from societal pressures and redefine what it means to thrive in adulthood.