Teen Depression On The Rise, Especially Among Girls

A research involving 82 adolescents who were asked to complete assessments about their thoughts, stressful life events and depressive symptoms show that there is a troubling increase of depression among adolescents and young adults in recent years, and that girls are the ones who are mostly affected. 

Dr. Ramin Mojtabai of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., and his co-authors said that the study looked at analyzed data from national surveys on drug use and health from 2005 to 2014 for teens aged 12 to 17 and young adults aged 18 to 25.  Episodes of major depression increased in teens from 8.7 percent in 2005 to 11.3 percent in 2014.

Bullying Can Be Attributed As One Of The Reasons Of Depression Among Teens

"While it is not possible to determine the reasons for this difference, cyber-bullying may play a role. Negative texting experiences appear to be more common in girls than boys and have been linked to depressed mood," said Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and a co-author of the study.  In May, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine called bullying as "a major public health problem." 

"As compared with adolescent boys, adolescent girls also now use mobile phones with texting applications more frequently and intensively and problematic mobile phone use among young people has been linked to depressed mood," the authors of this study said.

Social Media Also Plays A Big Part In Teenage Depression

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) surveyed more than 10,000 Ontario students in Grades 7 to 12 during the 2014-15 school year and found out that a number of kids experience moderate to serious psychological distress. Around 86 percent of students were on social media daily, and about 16 per cent spend five hours or more a day on social media.

Dr. Sandra Mendlowitz,  a psychologist in the child and youth psychiatry outpatient program at Toronto's SickKids Hospital, who is not involved in the study, said: "You can have a number of likes  and dislikes that many teenagers see as destroying their sense of self.  That's why it's important to be careful about posts and how you'll handle the responses."

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