According to a new study published in the journal Abnormal Psychology, the number of teens that have been reporting depression over the last decade has increased by 52 percent, and by 63 percent among young adults.
Researchers attribute the change to a number of factors caused by a “generational shift.” And with that shift, researchers identified some prominent trends that came to forefront in young people’s lives, namely, the use of social media.
By 2012, researchers say, smartphones were dominant in people’s lives and social media simultaneously integrated itself into everyone’s lives. They also pointed to a correlation of how often young people use social media and the likelihood that they would develop symptoms of depression.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, looking into the survey responses of more than 200,000 youths and 400,000 young adults of the age 18 and older during the years of 2005 to 2017.
Researchers say that though it is evident that it can create a vicious cycle to spend lots of hours on social media, investing in what are not “real” interactions, the good news is that young people are becoming more aware of how detrimental social media can be to their health.
“Of course, other factors could be fueling this generational rise in mental health problems. It could simply be that these teens and young adults are more willing to admit they are stressed, anxious, worried and even depressed and that they need, and want help,” reports NPR.
For the time being, experts recommend that young people make lifestyle changes that invest in their wellness, such as increasing exercise, sun exposure and hours of sleep.
Read Full Story: NPR