Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

Variation of trauma between Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X

Experiencing trauma can vary from one generation to another. As a millennial, I got the opportunity to observe and interact with Gen Z and Gen X people and noticed that Gen Z tends to use the word "trauma" more frequently than other generations. While it may seem like Gen Z individuals are experiencing trauma over small things, it is also important to understand that everyone's experience is different, and what may be small to one person can be significant to another. Moreover, societal changes and advancements in technology have also played a role in shaping the experiences of different generations. As our understanding of the impact of trauma evolves, people may be more likely to recognise and acknowledge their experiences as traumatic, which could explain why the word trauma is used more frequently by Gen Z. Regardless of the reasons, it is important to remember that everyone's experiences and reactions to trauma are unique.
First of all, let's talk about Generation X, if you are someone from the Millennials and Gen Z your parents most likely belong to Gen X where mental health was stigmatised and trauma was often ignored or minimised. Have you ever heard from your father or mother that he or she is feeling traumatised because of any silly matter like not having a good mental state or over a fight with a beloved person? Were they in deep trauma because of not scoring up to the mark in exams? The answer will be no in general. These are some examples only which indicates that their view about trauma does not come very easily. But in the context of Bangladesh, this generation experienced some serious events like terrorist explosions and the AIDS epidemic which events are enough to take people into a traumatic ride. Gen X is less likely to openly discuss their experiences with trauma and may be more hesitant to seek out mental health resources. I know people talking about deep sadness instead of using the word trauma because to them trauma is something that does not come so easily.
Moving onto Millennials, they have been shaped by the events of 9/11. They went through the Iraq War, and some massive financial crises all over the world. They may have experienced trauma related to these events and may also have been exposed to traumatic events through social media and the internet because the internet started getting priority during this time. Also, the millennial generation in the context of Bangladesh had an enjoyable childhood which shaped them into a strong and positive generation. Millennials are more likely to discuss their experiences with trauma openly and to seek out therapy and other mental health resources. But there are some exceptions too, because in our society, if someone talks about their sadness or emotions, people tend to call them weak and fragile.
Finally, we are experiencing the trauma of the Gen Z. Gen Z has grown up in a world where traumatic events such as school shootings, terrorism and natural disasters are more frequent and visible through social media and the internet. They may experience trauma at a younger age and have a heightened awareness of the impact of trauma on mental health. Gen Z is also more likely to seek mental health resources and prioritise self-care. However, there are some other types of traumas visible in this generation, which can be seen often in their face. I know kids complaining about depression caused by not being able to convince their parents to buy something. Also, this generation experienced a huge development or invention of technology, which made them prioritise social media life a lot. One of my friends from university was talking about her traumatic journey because her picture did not get much attention on Instagram. Gen Z is casually using this word because the depth of this word is not very clear to them in general.
We can see that the trauma of Gen Z people is far different from other generations because of technological development and massive change in social structure. We cannot blame any generation for being in the traumatic situation as Zen Z are, because we human beings are responsible for everything. It can be said that we created this way of life where trauma can be seen through social media and other sources rather than experiencing it in real life. Contrary to that, Gen X is the one who faces this situation in real life without even knowing that this situation is a part of their unknown trauma.
Overall, while the experience of trauma can vary among different generations, individuals or a generation needs to know that the word trauma represents a massive incident that really made an impact on someone's life. The word trauma should not be used as a daily language, and it also has to be clear that this is something not very easy or a little thing to discuss every day. Trauma is a lifelong experience or incident. No generation or individual should feel less or sad about this part of life. We can always prioritise our mental health.

Mahbub Alam Moni, a Digital Marketing Executive at BSB Cambrian Education Group