Ask Amy: We millennials do the hard work on ourselves. Why can’t our parents do the same?

Dear Amy: Why are so many middle-aged folks/baby boomers resistant to mental health care?

Amy Dickinson 

While millennials (like me) openly seek help for our issues, we watch our parents go in circles with the same issues — emotions, stress, social dysfunction — and insist they don’t need help.

They are often defensive and hostile to the suggestion, saying, “It wouldn’t work” even though they’ve never tried it.

For those of us who have put in some hard work on ourselves, it’s hard to watch them go through the same patterns over and over and refuse to talk to professionals.


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Dear Frustrated: Even though I am of the generation you critique for not taking care of ourselves, I cannot reject your blanket assertion because I think you’re right!

To spitball my own assertions, I’ll try to explain that we boomers were raised by a generation who had stoically survived — and suffered through — a global conflict. Our parents encouraged us to “keep calm and carry on,” “suck it up,” and sometimes demonstrated unhealthy forms of “self-medication” in the form of nightly cocktails.

They also did not discuss what they considered to be “private” feelings with their children, and so their children — my generation — had to more or less figure things out, without a lot of guidance.

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Also, mental health treatment has made huge leaps and strides in the last 20 to 30 years, thanks in part to the work and advocacy of boomers. (You’re welcome, by the way…)

I think it is helpful and compassionate for your generation to give your own parents credit for raising you to be in full touch with your own feelings, to take great and good care of yourselves, and to seek mental health help and support when you need it.

I hope you can encourage your parents to do the same.

Dear Amy: My husband maintains that when a person is speaking, we should remain completely silent until the speaker stops, and then wait two extra beats, to make sure the person who is speaking is not just taking a breath.

The trouble is that when we do this, his friends hold forth for 20 to 50 minutes.

I maintain that 20- to 50-minute monologues are fine for a classroom …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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