According to researchers, an increasing number of teens report having gone through serious episodes of depression without being treated accordingly, especially girls. The study, published Nov. 14 in the journal Pediatrics, suggests that parents, teachers and pediatricians should be all concerned about this phenomenon.
However, as these tendencies don't come alone, the study authors underline that more studies should be conducted. It is crucial to investigate the increasing rates of depression among adolescents, as this is the second factor that leads to suicide in the United States within the age group, after homicide.
Cyberbullying may have something to do with this trend, as we tend to replace classical communication channels with social media and connectivity, which also produces a shift in the way educational and professional opportunities, as well as threats, are perceived.
Concerning Increase In The Depressive Episodes
The depressive occurrences increased to 11.3 percent in adolescents and 9.6 percent in young adults in 2014, from the former scores of 8.7 percent and 8.8 percent recorded back in 2005, according to Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, lead author of the study. As part of the study, the reports of more than 170,000 teens and 180,000 young adults aged 18 to 25 were analyzed.
Roughly one teenager or young adult in 11 experiences a significant depressive crisis every year, and the most affected age group is 11 to 20, according to the study. According to other data in the study, girls are more prone to developing a depressive condition within a year's time, as the rates in their group increased from 13 percent to 17 percent from 2005 to 2014.
The boys' psychological conditions have worsened as well. However, within this near-a-decade period, there was only a 2 percent increase in the episodes they reported, which is half the girls' rise.
Girls, More Depressed Than Boys
Mojtabai and his team also found that there are gaps in terms of providing mental health counseling or treatment for teens. Over the study period, there was no significant change in the number of adolescents with episodes of depression who reported receiving treatment "from any type of provider."
While there was an increase in the medications that adolescents with depressive tendencies used, the numbers weren't significant in this matter, either.
Researchers explained that it isn't completely clear why girls are more prone to depressive episodes than boys. However, the fact that they are twice more prone to being cyberbullied than their male counterparts may play a role in this state of facts.
The research remains consistent with UK findings, where a study suggested that roughly one-third of the women were unhappy about their appearance, which represents a 30 percent increase in half a decade. By contrast, the 20 percent of the boys who would have changed the way they looked given the possibility remained stable, which may also contribute to this statistic.