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There's a Startling Increase in Major Depression Among Teens in the U.S.

 3 years ago       133 Views

There’s a Startling Increase in Major Depression Among Teens in the U.S..

But while anxiety and sadness aren’t new phenomena among adolescents, there’s been a significant increase in the percentage of young people aged 12-20 who have reported having a major depressive episode (MDE).

Despite the rise in teen depression, the study, which analyzed data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, reported that there hasn’t a corresponding increase in mental health treatment for adolescents and young adults.

And California’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, tallied more than 5,000 incidents of suicidal behavior last year.

Specific incidents of self-harm, like superficial cutting and burning the skin are usually not attempts at suicide, but the behavior does correlate with a higher risk of suicidal behavior.

Some of the increase in depression in Los Angeles schools may be due to more awareness and improved data collection, but with more than 30 percent of high school students there reporting prolonged feelings of hopelessness and sadness lasting more than two weeks, and 9.1% of middle schoolers and 8.4% of high schoolers in the district actually attempting suicide, the data highlights the need for more mental health resources for young people.

(In the U.S., 19.5% of girls experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year, while only 5.8% of boys did.)

The Pediatrics study researchers suggested that adolescent girls may be more exposed to risk factors.

Some studies show that girls use mobile phones with texting applications more frequently and intensively.

Counselors like Ellen Chance in Palm Beach say they see evidence that technology and online bullying are affecting kids’ mental health as young as fifth grade, particularly girls.

Author: Susanna Schrobsdorff


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