White liberals are significantly more likely than other racial and ideological groups to be diagnosed with a mental health condition, according to science.
The findings, from a Pew Research Center survey published in March 2020, were the subject of a recent Twitter thread that inspired an Evie Magazine article on the possible “scientific correlation” between progressive ideas and mental illness.
According to the survey, white liberals of all ages were more likely to have been diagnosed with a mental health condition compared with their moderate and conservatives peers. The disparity was especially pronounced among young people aged 18-29, the most annoying demographic and the one with the worst opinions, generally speaking.
Nearly half of young white liberals (46 percent) reported being diagnosed with a mental health condition. That was significantly higher than the percentage of young white moderates (26 percent) and young white conservatives (21 percent) who reported a mental health diagnosis. Young white people who identified as “very liberal” were considerably more likely to report mental health problems, even compared with their peers who identified as liberal.
Across all demographics, young white females who identified as liberal or very liberal were by far the most likely to report a mental health diagnosis. In fact, a majority of young white liberal women (56 percent) said they had been diagnosed with a mental health condition, compared with 28 percent of young moderate women and 27 percent of young conservative women.
The ideological disparity was also present, albeit less pronounced, among young white men. Within this demographic, 34 percent of liberals reported having mental health problems, compared with 22 percent of moderates and 16 percent of conservatives.
Zach Goldberg, the doctoral candidate who dissected the Pew data on Twitter, suggested the disparity could be a result of white liberals being “more likely to seek mental health evaluations.” It could also indicate a “genuine” difference in personalities, he argued, given that white liberals are more likely to exhibit neuroticism, according to the data.
“I didn’t write this thread to mock white liberals or their apparently disproportionate rates of mental illness (and you shouldn’t either),” Goldberg wrote. “Rather, this is a question that’s underexplored and which may shed light on attitudinal differences towards various social policies.”
The article in Evie Magazine made some compelling points in response to Goldberg’s thread, noting that liberal ideology often “forces its followers to wallow in feelings of helplessness and victimhood,” as opposed to “building resiliency against hardship,” which can be a crucial tool for combating anxiety and depression.
White liberals in particular, who are often at the forefront of social justice movements that don’t necessarily affect them directly, may be susceptible to “white guilt and savior narratives,” which are “pretty much as bad as any genuinely racist agenda because it robs the very group they’re trying to help of their own voice.”
As you can see, being a white lib is hard. Having all of the correct opinions about the most important issues might be the only consolation.