Why Gen Z Are Graying So Early – The Impact Of Stress And Unhealthy Lifestyle |  Chennai news

Why Gen Z Are Graying So Early – The Impact Of Stress And Unhealthy Lifestyle | Chennai news

It’s been a few months since Reshma Subburaj, a 19-year-old architecture student, had a good night’s sleep. Leaving her tossing and turning all night is “stress and deadlines.” She feels tired all the time, but she is determined to get her submissions in on time. Like Reshma, many of Gen Z (ages 12-27) have unstable lifestyles and poor eating habits and experience intense stress, eventually resulting in them “aging faster than milk”, as social media calls it.
Adolescents aged 13 and 14 experience premature baldness, grayingwrinkles etc. While genetics and health conditions are factors, the main cause is stress,” says Dr Bhuvanashree N, dermatologist at Buvvis Dermagicalz. “Teenagers are becoming aware of their appearance and are getting treatments for prematurity aging.” “I have tried many natural remedies to prevent hair thinning at the crown. I used onion oil, rosemary oil, hibiscus oil and pressed coconut oil. But none of that worked and that’s when I decided to consult a dermatologist. They injected vitamin B12 directly into my scalp to promote hair growth. It has helped me drastically and I am working on my diet to get these vitamins through my food,” says 21-year-old Mahima A, whose condition was found to be entirely due to stress. Many young adults also get botox injections for crow’s feet and fine lines.
The reasons for high levels of stress in teenagers and young adults are many, ranging from increased competition to high expectations of self and others. “My college faculty tries to make the environment as stress-free as possible, but I unconsciously burden myself with high expectations. I struggle to meet them because I want my work to be the best and I don’t want to let people down.” , says Reshma, who struggles to maintain a healthy diet. “When I was in school, I used to talk to my mom every evening after coming back from school about my day. But now I don’t talk to her at all because I come back late from college and I’m exhausted when I arrive. That makes me even more stressed,” she says. In most cases, it’s the high standards set by society that stress them out, says Sarathi, a 26-year-old product designer. “Despite the fact that I had a well-paid job and a good position in my company, I felt the need to find a side income because society dictates the grind culture (that one must constantly work hard to succeed). I would stay up working on my side projects and my full time job, but it was miserable. Finally, I got burned. That’s when I knew I had to stop.”
Some of the common problems found in Gen Z are anxiety, body image issues, depression, eating disorders and addiction, says Vandhana S, a clinical psychologist based in Chennai. He agrees that there are many factors involved in the stress-aging cycle: biological, psychological and social. “Anxiety can come from one’s personality as well. Many people in Gen Z are constantly worrying, overthinking and processing their thoughts due to poor coping mechanisms.” These coping mechanisms, in addition to stress, lead to a disrupted sleep cycle that prevents the body from healing itself from daily wear and tear, leading to faster aging. And it’s not just about aging, Gen Z members are susceptible to a variety of health conditions, including heart problems and insulin resistance, compared to millennials (ages 28-43) and Gen X (ages 44-59). Dr V Mohan, chairman of Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialty Centre, says, “The carotid artery is a major artery that supplies blood. With age, its thickness increases.
In a healthy young adult, the thickness of the carotid artery is usually 0.4-0.6 mm. However, due to poor diet including high sodium fast food, lack of exercise, stress and high sugar consumption, children as young as 10 are being diagnosed with type 1 and 2 diabetes which causes a range of problems including hair loss. Carotid thickness is often found to be 0.9 mm. Their bodies are aging faster than they should.” How can young people help themselves? “The biological clock must first be set. Correcting your sleep cycle is important for treating physical problems and improving neuro-psychological functions. Exercising within limits and avoiding external liver-damaging supplements will also help. Indulge in a hobby that allows you to relax and unwind. Take things one thing at a time. There is no need to rush and you have all the time in the world,” says Vandhana.

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