Are Today’s Teenagers More Susceptible to Depression and Anxiety?

In the last decade in the U.S., teenagers and young adults are experiencing a dramatic increase in mental health conditions that is not present in other American age groups. According to a recent article in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2010 teenagers are much more likely to develop major depression, have suicidal thoughts, or live with crippling anxiety than teenagers from the 2000s.

Why are today’s teenagers more susceptible to depression and anxiety? Researchers who studied the data theorize that because the biggest increase occurred around 2011, it is unlikely the cause is the political climate, the economy, or genetics. Instead this uptick in mental health concerns is attributed to the cultural changes in the way young people spend their time outside school and work and how they communicate with each other. Teenagers are sleeping less, exercising less, and spending less time interacting with other people face-to-face, instead spending significantly more time scrolling through social media and communicating electronically. The researchers conclude that teenagers and young adults should focus on activities known to improve mental health – face-to-face social interaction, exercise, and sleep. You can read more about the study and its findings HERE.

Put the Phones Down for a Bit

Limiting time spent on social media sites has been shown to improve a person’s mental health. A study conducted by psychologists last year at the University of Pennsylvania asked participants to dramatically limit their use of social media. The study showed with just three weeks of limiting social media, the participants reported decreased levels of depression and loneliness. More about the study can be found HERE

There is no time like the present to focus our attention on our teens. Not only do we want the best for our children, but also they will enter the workforce sooner than we think.

At Kantor & Kantor, we represent individuals living with mental illness in claims for disability insurance benefits and health insurance claims. If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness and you are being denied benefits by your insurance, please call Kantor & Kantor for a free consultation at 800-446-7529 or use our online contact form. We understand, and we can help.

 

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