Featuring Clinical Psychologist Dr. Mark Ruiz
Some of us know what it means to wrestle with our own demons – battle our own beasts and banish the monsters within – and we understand the struggle of the millennial mental health crisis. We are daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, some of us are parents and grandparents.
Coastal Lifestyle family is like any other professional organization with team members from the Baby Boomer, Gen-X, and millennial generations. At least one person from every decade born between the late ’50s and early ’90s actively contributes to the publication. Our personal and professional backgrounds are as varied as the areas from which we hail.
Although we are very different, one thing we have in common is a personal experience, in one way or another, with the depression, anger, and anxiety plaguing our millennial generation – a generation calling their own identities into question. A 2018 Blue Cross Blue Shield report cites a 47 percent upswing between the years of 2013 and 2016 in the number of reported cases of millennials with major depression. Despite such a weighty increase, friends and families watch helpless as their loved ones struggle – merely spectators to challenges they would gladly take from their children and bare themselves if possible.
Coastal Lifestyle is taking a proactive approach and dedicating regular column space to a very real problem plaguing our soon-to-be successors. We have partnered with Dr. Mark Ruiz, a clinical psychologist with more than 15 years of active clinical experience. Dr. Ruiz has an in-depth insight into the challenges facing the millennial generation, how the millennial generation impacts its predecessors, and how our earlier generations perceive the millennial age group. “Millennials grew up facing pressures the rest of us have not known and their struggles are not only invalidated, but seemingly ridiculed. The people I have worked with from this generation are impressive,” says Ruiz.
Meet Dr. Mark Ruiz –
Armed with a strong and very successful academic background, Dr. Ruiz holds a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology from the University of Dallas, as well as a Master’s and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. His dissertation research involved depression and perceived competence among the then young millennial generation.
Dr. Ruiz recently relocated to the Pensacola area from Austin, TX, where he practiced in several different medical settings. While in Austin, Dr. Ruiz made great strides in reducing the impact of psychological factors on medical recovery in medical rehabilitation facilities, acute care hospitals, and in nursing and long term care environments.
Setting Dr. Ruiz apart from his peers is his work with patients from diverse backgrounds spanning young adults to advanced age. The unique set of demographics allowed Dr. Ruiz to not only work with a variety of acute and chronic medical issues, substance abuse, and dependency but with a broad spectrum of psychological conditions not often encountered in a general community practice. “The interactions between the physical and psychological struggles are often surreal. I see people at their sickest and lowest points persevering through issues I cannot imagine. It is troubling to see so many young people battling physical and emotional problems well beyond their age,” he continues.
Dr. Ruiz is passionate about the direction of his private Pensacola-based practice. Under his guidance, clients from older adolescence through end-of-life develop personal strategies to overcome psychological and situational barriers. He states, “Often, people simply need to see that it has taken a great deal of strength to get where they are today, and they can learn new ways to use that strength to get to where they want to go. Helping people discover that they have that strength and that they can apply new strategies to overcome their challenges is deeply satisfying.”
Contact Us –
For this column to be successful, we need to hear from you with your questions and concerns relating to millennial mental health crisis. Dr. Ruiz will provide responses, present discussions, and offer resource recommendations including sources, lists of in – and out-patient care facilities, and information about obtaining help. If we help one person, we will consider ourselves successful.
Send us your thoughts, questions and suggestions. We would love to hear from you.
E-mail: Contact Us
Mail: P.O Box 4824, Pensacola, FL 32507