Depression in Teens: An Escalating Problem

From 2007 to 2017, teen depression has become 59% more prevalent.

Depression among teens in the United States has increased considerably since 2007, according to a reputable Pew Research Center’s report, published in July 2019. Per this report, 13% of U. S. teens “experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year.” Further, compared to 2007, the total number of teens in 2017 who “recently experienced depression” increased 59%.

To build on this, 29% of teens feel “tense or nervous” about their day, at least as often as almost every day. Also, 61% of teens felt “a lot of pressure to get good grades.” Similarly, 30% of teens reported “a lot of pressure to look good and fit in socially.”

With the prevalence of teen depression, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of depression. If over five of these symptoms are present for over two weeks, for almost every day or more often, then the teen may have depression. These symptoms include feeling depressed most of the time, feeling tired, having a lack of energy, feeling worthless or guilty, having an inability to sleep or rather sleeping too much, having little interest in many activities, thinking about death or suicide, feeling irritable and restless, experiencing a loss of pleasure, and overeating or not feeling hungry. Again, these symptoms must be almost every day and include over five of these symptoms to possibly be considered depression.

Other symptoms of depression include feeling sad and/or anxious, having “empty” feelings, and having symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder or symptoms of a panic disorder or phobia.

Should symptoms of depression become apparent, please discuss this with your teen’s doctor, and please make sure that you have several phone numbers available for the doctor in case you are in need.

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