Today, depression is among the most common and serious health challenge present today, especially in the United States. It is hard to miss the effects, especially when you consider that suicide rates and drug abuse have been on the rise as the years go by.
Whether it affects famous people, a loved one, or even you, there is no denying that it is a condition that needs more attention than it generally gets. Suicide rates are steadily increasing, especially in the mid-age groups between the 20s and 50s. The largest increase was in men between the ages of 45 and 64, and now it is rising among women as well. College students and teens are also increasingly affected by stress, as the pressures of life today are steeper than the past – and that is something worth paying attention to.
3 Reasons Why People depressed at Younger Ages
The rise of depression rates may be due to several factors, while the main reason may be the issue of mental illness is slowly becoming less stigmatized. This has made more people to come out and raise awareness – although you need to keep in mind it may not be the possible reason on its own.
The data regarding the illness among men and women alike reveals that there was an increase by about 30 percent of cases between 2013 and 2016, with sharp increases being noted for the age groups of teens up to 35 years.
Many teens and young people who suffer from depression have also struggled with suicidal thoughts, although much lesser numbers of them actually do it. In fact, at least 22 percent of students in high school, for instance, have thought about committing suicide – at least according to data from the CDC. Out of this age group, 3.6 percent of them actually took steps to end their lives by overdosing on drugs, injuring themselves and self-harm, as well as poisoning themselves.
Self-harm is particularly a risky area for teens and young people who are struggling with the illness. Even though they were usually from abusive homes in the past, today they also tend to be from very loving and supportive families.
Here are some important facts about the state of depression in America, and it can also apply to the global mindset as well.
Reason 1: The Rise in Popularity of Smartphone’s
The rise in social media and smartphones has allowed us to operate more efficiently while helping us connect with each other in more ways than before. However, it has also led to the increase in depression cases, due to several possible reasons.
A study conducted on some children in middle school and junior high revealed that screen time corresponded directly with mental health issues – if you have a young child in your home, it is important to limit their interactions on social media for this reason. The more time they spend on the phone, the more likely they are to develop signs of depression. The bad news is that parents are getting smartphones for their kids at earlier ages than before, and it is corresponding to the rise in children going to counseling sessions.
In addition, a young person can feel left out because they are not on social media, or because they are not having as much fun as their friends clearly are – which increases the chances of depression onsets. Peer pressure is a powerful thing at this stage of their lives, and they may report to comparing themselves all the time – leading to very fierce and constant competition that they cannot win.
In addition, using smartphones can reduce their sleep time. In fact, studies show that more than 60 percent of teens who have smartphones will spend the last hour of their day with their phone, and this will cut into their sleeping time compared to their peers who do other things. Sleep and depression have a strong correlation, so the less sleep they get the more chances they have of developing the illness.
Reason 2: Growing Degree of Loneliness
The more technology advances in our daily lives, the less room we have of connecting to each other through spending time. Today, less than 50 percent of Americans say they have daily conversations with a family member, especially ones that are meaningful and insightful.
More people are struggling to find others who genuinely want to connect with them, and this has led to more people feeling lonely – they feel they have no friends and no support system, which increases the onset of depressive symptoms.
In fact, the current Generation Z, who are young people roughly between the ages of 18 and 22, reports the most significant levels of loneliness as they struggle to connect with each other and with others. Most of their time is also spent on their phones and on social media, and rarely with their loved ones and families.
Reason 3: More People are Living Single
The pressures of life today have forced many adults to live without a romantic partner or a spouse, especially since 2007. The proportion is significantly higher for people between the ages of 18 to 35, as more than 60 percent are still single.
It is not that singlehood is a bad thing, and you should not rush to get married anyway – but many people who do not have romantic partners in their lives tend to feel unimportant and left out. In addition, living as a single person is less tied to getting high financial security, because the person does not have access to a spouse’s financial cushioning or health insurance when their income falls or is not steady anymore.
Increasing Despair in Midlife
An interesting observation to note is that the majority of rising suicide cases are among white middle-aged men who are predominantly in the working class. Many of them are also veterans, and less likely to seek help.
When looking at these statistics, it paints a gloomy picture on the progress of diagnosis teen mental health treatment and depression disorders. However, there are ways to manage it, as long as you can quickly deal with it when the signs begin to show up.