Depression, Anxiety on the Rise among Teens

by Devon Goldstein ’21

Many teens know what it is, many have had it, but only a few talk about it with others. That is where the problem starts to worsen. Depression is being in a constant state of sadness where one feels there is no way out. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. Teens now are experiencing these feelings more than ever before, and experts and others are trying to figure out why.

A study conducted in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology said that “symptoms consistent with major depression over the past year increased 52 percent in teens and 63 percent in young adults over a decade.” Another recent study by the University of Liverpool and University College London discovered “levels of depression had increased from nine percent for young people born in the early 1990s to almost 15 percent for those born at the turn of the millennium. Rates of self-harm had also risen from 12 percent to 14 percent over a decade.”

Teens now are becoming depressed from different things such as stress, trauma, family issues, personal relationships, and so much more. With so many teens now having depression, not all of them are treated for it. An article published by the Medical Press mentions that only 20 percent of teens with depression are diagnosed and treated for it. The article also reports that many teens have a different kind of depression than in the past. They are not as sad but are more irritable. This can lead to the teens not being diagnosed and treated because they are not showing the traditionally understood signs of depression.

The aspects of social media are not only causing teens to have depression, but anxiety as well. Nearly a third of teens experience anxiety. Some of the warning signs of anxiety are similar to those of depression warning signs, but may also include excessive worrying, feeling agitated, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, irrational fears, tense muscles, experiencing fatigue, and panic attacks.

Times have changed since this generation’s parents were teenagers. Teens now feel a lot more pressure to do better in school than before. The study conducted at the universities in London found that 61 percent of teens now feel pressure to get good grades in school, leading to having, and being diagnosed with, anxiety for many of them.