teens are reporting depression in unprecedented numbers
And that's a good thing.
'Girl, Interrupted,' Everett Collection
At times, it can feel like depression has become like a pair of blue jeans — everyone has it. This feeling is actually well-founded, a new study by insurance provider BlueCross BlueShield revealed last week. Diagnoses of depression are up, like way up, increasing 63% among adolescents between 2013-2016. There’s an important caveat to note here: it’s not that more teens are becoming depressed, instead more teens are admitting they are depressed and seeking help. Therefore, the study’s findings are more uplifting than depressing. Teens are finally addressing and managing their mental illness.
It is hard to boil down the increased diagnoses to one specific cause — but mental illness has become a focal point of our culture as of late. Instagram accounts focused on tongue-in-cheek mental health memes, candid dramas like 13 Reasons Why and Skins, and celebrities like Selena Gomez and Paris Jackson have helped normalize conversations about teen mental illness.
The same spike in depression diagnoses can be seen in adults, rising 47% among 18-47 year olds. Studies about the long-term effects of mental illness-related symptoms are becoming more and more popular. A recent one found that being lonely is worst than 15 cigarettes a day. Yikes! Even more reason to pay a visit to your doctor.