Our teens are becoming more depressed, but fewer seek treatment, according to a study reported in Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study examined national trends over a 12 month period. Participants included over 170,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 and more than 178,000 young adults aged 18 to 25.
In each participant category studied, the results showed an increase in depression: from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014 in adolescents and from 8.8% to 9.6% in young adults for the same time period. However, these groups did not seek out mental health care contacts. Instead, the use of prescription medication and inpatient hospitalization rose.
Untreated depression and other mental health issues can go hand in hand with alcohol and substance abuse, as our teens and young adults attempt to self-medicate as a way to alleviate the pain. Depression can lead to suicide, as the person feels that there is no hope. But there is. If you or someone you love suffers from depression, get help. Our resource page contains a list of qualified treatment facilities.