Sharp Increase In Mental Health Illnesses In Young People May Be Linked To Social Media, Cultural Trends
The report also said that lack of sleep could be a contributing factor. Between 2008 and 2017, suicides among young adults in age brackets between 18 and 25 grew by as much as 56 percent, and the rate at which these young people entertained thoughts of suicide rose by up to 68 percent. “It’s an alarming trend," said Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, a Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist.
The Washington Post:
Mental Health Problems Rise Significantly Among Young Americans
Over the past decade or so, rates of depression, psychological distress, and suicidal thoughts and actions have risen significantly among people age 26 and younger, with some of the highest increases among women and those at higher income levels, according to a study of a broad swath of young Americans. The report, published Thursday in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Abnormal Psychology, looked at survey data from more than 600,000 adolescents and adults. (Bahrampour, 3/14)
Los Angeles Times:
Mental Health Problems Are On The Rise Among American Teens And Young Adults
A study published Thursday finds that U.S. teens and young adults in 2017 were more distressed, more likely to suffer from major depression, and more prone to suicide than their counterparts in the millennial generation were at the same age. Researchers also found that between 2008 and 2017, Gen Z’s emotional distress and its propensity toward self-harm grew more than for any other generation of Americans during the same period. By 2017, just over 13% of Americans between the ages of 12 and 25 had symptoms consistent with an episode of major depression in the previous year – a 62% increase in eight years. (Healy, 3/14)
Can Too Much Time Online Make You Depressed?
Understanding exactly why these trends are on the rise is always a challenge, says Twenge, since researchers can only point out correlations, not causes. But, she says, since the trends are "pretty large in a fairly short period of time, that helps us narrow what the likely cause might be. "She thinks the rise in smartphone and social media use is a significant factor. By 2012, smartphones had become widespread, she says, and it's around that same time that social media began to dominate young people's lives. For example, in 2009 about half of high school seniors visited social media sites every day. That's climbed to about 85 percent today, with Instagram and Snapchat replacing Facebook as the main "go to social media site," she says. (Neighmond, 3/14)