Depression On The Rise Among Young Teens, Study Finds

CBS Local — A new report has revealed a disturbing trend among America’s youth. According to a decade-long survey, the number of young teens suffering from depression is rising rapidly.

The survey of over 600,000 people was carried out by Columbia University and the City University of New York (CUNY) from 2005 to 2015. According to the results, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, the number of adolescents diagnosed with clinical depression far outpaced any other age group. While the overall rate of depression in the U.S. rose from 6.6 to 7.3 percent in those 10 years, depression among children age 12 to 17 jumped from 8.7 to 12.7 percent.

“Depression is most common among those with least access to any health care, including mental health professionals. This includes young people and those with lower levels of income and education,” Columbia’s Dr. Renee Goodwin said in the University’s release. “Despite this trend, recent data suggest that treatment for depression has not increased,” the study’s lead author added.

The researchers reportedly noted that teens are at high risk for depression due to their generation’s increasing presence on social media. “Adolescents are increasingly exposed to risk factors derived from the use of new technologies, such as cyber-bullying and problematic social media use,” researchers said, via Minnpost.com.

The researchers added that cases of depression that go untreated can lead to dangerous behavior like suicide. According to the CDC, the suicide rate among teen boys, age 15 to 19, jumped by 31 percent during the life of Columbia and CUNY’s study. Among teen girls, the CDC reports that the suicide rate doubled and was at the highest rate since the organization began tracking suicides in 1975.

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