- In 2020, researchers found that the depression rate for Americans 12 and older was about 9%.
- However, when looking at teens and young adults, it rose to 17%.
- Depressive symptoms were most common among 18- to 25-year-olds, and help-seeking remained consistently low.
new research Nearly 10% of Americans have depression, about twice as many as teenagers and young adults.
“Our study updates estimates of the prevalence of depression in the U.S. population through 2020 and confirms an escalating increase in depression from 2015 to 2019.” Lead study author Renee D. Goodwin, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School, said.public health statement.
The study was published this week in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
She noted that this reflected a deepening public health crisis in the United States even before the pandemic began.
Researchers used data from 2015-2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Healtha nationally representative study of Americans 12 years and older.
They found that in 2020, Americans in this age group had a depression rate of about 9% in the last 12 months. However, when looking at teens and young adults, it rose to 17%.
“Major depression is a clinical disorder, so it is characterized by persistent depressed or depressed mood and loss of interest in activities. Shauna NewmanA psychiatrist at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital told Healthline.
Although there was no change in the prevalence of depression among adults over the age of 35, the condition was most common among those aged 18 to 25, and help-seeking remained consistently low. did.
“Our results show that most adolescents with depression did not talk or discuss their symptoms of depression with a health care professional and did not receive pharmacological treatment from 2015 to 2020. ‘ said Goodwin. statement.
Researchers also found that:
- Non-Hispanic whites had higher rates of depression than all other racial/ethnic groups.
- Depression was higher in women compared with men and higher in adults who were not currently or previously married.
- Depression increased across all income groups, but the largest increases were among those with the lowest household incomes.
“The key to meeting the criteria here is that depressive mood must be persistently low,” she explained.
The official norm is two weeks, Neumann said, but usually a month or two.
“Two weeks, a month, or even two months, it makes things clearer,” she explained. ” means sustainablyIt’s different from being distressed or upset – people often use words like that.
Doctor Nochene LungebarHe is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona School of Medicine in Tucson.
“These include loneliness, the loss of loved ones, work, finances, or anything particularly stressful, illness, and the impact of racism or prejudice on gender, sexuality, beliefs, culture, or way of life. included,” she said. she said.
According to Ranjbar, this can include other changes in life that derail our ability to cope.
“Adverse childhood experiences and trauma can also increase the risk of experiencing depression later in life,” she added.
“price [of depressive symptoms]
She pointed out that the pandemic has created a global crisis in all aspects of life. This includes the isolation and anxiety caused by the unknown trajectory and ultimate outcome of the pandemic.
“Historically, older people have experienced depression at higher rates than most people, but more recently, teenagers have been more susceptible to the ‘severe’ type of major depressive disorder,” said Thompson. It’s happening,” he said.
One reason, according to Newman, is their higher social and developmental needs.
“The developmental needs of that age group are so focused on socialization and emotional growth that isolation, restriction, distance and masking are very difficult for adolescents,” she said. Because they biologically need facial expressions and body language. They are very social because humans are very social animals, but adolescents crave and need it. ”
She emphasized the sudden disappearance of social interaction with peers, decreased contact with supportive people such as teachers, group activities, and even just walking down a normal high school hallway.
“This is a disaster!” Newman said. “You see schools as the primary place where we receive psychological services evaluation and treatment.
Newman believes that perhaps 80% of children who rely on school-based services to address their needs don’t get them.
“They are at home with their own thoughts and computers,” she said.
“But when you’re in an experience that’s supposed to be essentially three-dimensional, four-dimensional if you count time, and you’re in a space of purpose and goal, and there’s a whole groupthink and interaction with the teacher, this is very important. It was gone in an instant,” Newman continued.
Teenagers face serious challenges as they face adulthood, including inflation and student loans, Thompson said.
“But teens face an entirely different dilemma with student loan debt and rising costs of living,” she said. “This alone has created a national crisis. The teenager is very nervous about making decisions and taking responsibility. She lacks self-confidence. I am
She also added that due to rising divorce rates, longer lifespans, and frequent shifts in interest in relationship types, she has decided to avoid commitments.
“The unknown future creates an overwhelming sense of unease surrounding decision-making in all aspects of their lives,” she continued.
Thompson believes it’s important to focus on continuing to make mental health services successful, talk about them, and create more easily accessible mental health resources.
Schools, she said, are one of the best places for easily accessible resources.
“Some public school districts have guidance counselors or one social worker, but not enough to address the prevalence and severity of the mental health needs of today’s teens,” she continued.
According to Thompson, offering classes on “brain health” and personal well-being, and providing therapeutic services that allow teens in public schools to easily see licensed therapists, is part of Access Care.
“Accessible treatments for teenagers will reduce the need for teenagers to miss work to get many appointments for care,” she said. “With professionally trained mental health professionals in schools and better prepared caregivers, the opportunity for adults to detect signs and symptoms of depression early in their teens is significant. will increase.”
A recent study found a dramatic increase in the incidence of depressive symptoms, with teens and young adults particularly affected.
Experts say many factors could be responsible, but the COVID-19 pandemic may have played a key role in the increase.
They also say more mental health resources are needed, especially in school settings, to ensure that those who need treatment get it.
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