Depression Rising Amongst Teens and Young Adults

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Depression among teens can seem like a common issue, but did you know that in the U. S. there has been a significant increase in major depression among adolescents and teens?

This trend has scientists, parents and doctors worried. Newly published scientific research from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows a spike in depression rates among U.S. teens, with a particular increase amongst teenage girls. The study, conducted from 2004 to 2015, noted a 2.6 percent increase in major depressive episodes among teens aged 12 to 17, and a 0.8 percent increase among young adults aged 18 to 25. The study also shows that the depression rate among girls is double the rate of boys of the same age, with the number reaching 17 percent total in young women.

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Perhaps most concerning of all, the study also found that while teenagers are becoming depressed at a higher rate, they are also not receiving the treatment they need.

Doctors suggest a wide range of possible reasons for this rise in depression rates among teens and young adults. Farha Abbasi, an assistant psychology professor at Michigan State University, points to a generational increase in stressors brought on by recent economic hardships, high career expectations from parents and rising costs in tuition. She is also quick to point out the increase in awareness of depression symptoms as a possible reason for the rising rates.

One psychologist, John Mayer, Ph.D., suggests a possible explanation for the shortage of treatment could be a lack of communication or the expression of depressive feelings from teens, although he suggests that teens also might not be taken seriously by adults when signs of depression appear.

Another possible problem may lie in the types of treatment that teens are seeking when they do reach out for help. While many teens and young adults do see therapists to combat their depression, Mayer says that some therapists do not possess the necessary training or skills to effectively treat their younger patients.


Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

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