Doctors are hurting 20somethings by prescribing quick-fix pills

“There is a mental health crisis among young adults in America… So many twenty-somethings are still struggling, as a culture we aren’t sure what to think or do,” writes Dr. Meg Jay.

A clinical developmental psychologist, Jay has specialized in the treatment of young adult patients for 25 years. In her new book, “The Twentysomething Treatment: A Revolutionary Remedy for an Uncertain Age,” released April 9, she says the 20s are a particularly difficult decade — and that medications can actually make things more difficult in the long run. .

“It’s a really, really difficult time because it’s the one decade of life where everything is uncertain, everything is unstable,” Jay told the Post. “The brain doesn’t like it. It’s very stressful and makes people depressed and anxious. »

But by taking medication rather than learning to actually manage the stress of change, young people risk setting themselves up for disaster later.

“Young people in their 20s are more likely to take medication even after just one visit to their GP,” Jay explained. “They often receive a diagnosis and medication fairly quickly for temporary, developmentally normal situational stressors.”

She writes: “We are quick to pathologize them and offer diagnoses and medications to twenty-somethings whose brains and lives are still in motion. »

Jay’s book teaches twenty-somethings the importance of being truly social in the age of social media, of loving despite the risk of heartbreak, of making decisive decisions, and of focusing on ” what is” rather than “what if” – which she believes are important pillars of life. the basis of a healthy and well-adjusted adult life.

Without these skills, people find themselves facing the uncertainty of their 20s and relying on medications instead of finding fulfillment.

Dr Meg Jay says the 1920s were a difficult and defining decade in her new book.

Although she’s seen twenty-somethings struggle throughout her quarter-century career, Dr. Jay says it’s only more recently that medical professionals have started prescribing them medication excessively.

“Since I’ve been doing this, the twenties have been a low point in mental health,” said Jay, a faculty member at the University of Virginia. “Actually, it’s nothing new that young people in their 20s are struggling. It’s just new that people are talking about it.

Jay is a faculty member at the University of Virginia. AFP via Getty Images

She added: “Twenty years ago, it was quite rare for clients in my practice to take medication. Now I think the attitude is: drugs only have benefits.

But Jay, who is also the author of the 2012 bestseller “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now,” says twenty-somethings are more likely to need a gentle, guiding hand rather than medication.

Jay says many young people today are prescribed medications too quickly. wutzkoh –

“In a nutshell, my approach to young adults is skills over pills,” she explained. “Whether it’s work, love, finances or friends, I try to help twenty-somethings develop the skills they need to improve their mental health. “

That’s why his book includes a dozen “how-to” chapters on life skills—including how to love, how to work, how to be social, how to cook, and even how to have sex.

“The Twentysomething Treatment” comes out April 9.
By taking medication rather than learning to truly manage the stress of change, young people risk setting themselves up for disaster later. LightRocket via Getty Images

“There’s a lot of research behind the twenties being a developmental sweet spot,” Jay explained. “A lot of young people in their 20s just need a little adjustment or some good advice or six months or a year, and then their life can really change.”

And while she is, of course, an advocate and practitioner of clinical treatment, she also hopes that “The Twentysomething Treatment” can help people who may just need some solid advice.

“Therapy really isn’t accessible or affordable for most people. I really wrote this book to try to change that – to say that maybe you don’t need a therapist for $200 an hour every week. Maybe I can give you everything I have here in this book,” Jay said.

Jay’s book includes “how to” chapters on life skills – including how to love, how to work, how to be social, how to cook and even how to have sex. Yakobchuk Olena –

She told the Post that while she is happy that parents, educators and therapists have taken an interest in her approach, she wrote the book herself for the twenty-year-old. She says she hears daily from young people who discovered her through her books and ask if they can be her clients or how to find a therapist who also specializes in their age group.

“I hope their biggest takeaway is hope,” Jay said. “People hear that your twenties are the best years of life. They probably won’t. Life gets better as people move from their 20s to their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.

New York Post

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