The Center for Mental Health Services at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a report citing that 3 million teens in the United States suffer from depression each year.
The number of 12- to 17-year-olds suffering from depressive episodes has been steadily increasing in the past few years. The overall rate of depression amongst teens has jumped from 9.9 percent between 2013 to 2014 to over 11 percent the following year.
According to the report, the state with the highest rate of depressive episodes amongst teens was Oregon, where an average of 14.6 percent of teens were affected. In contract, the District of Columbia only saw 8.7 percent of teens suffering from depression, which is the lowest in the nation.
Paolo del Vecchio, Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services said of the study:
“Adolescence is a critical time in a person’s development, and battling with depression can be devastating for teens unless they receive effective treatment. Effective treatment is available, but parents, teachers and all concerned members of the community must work to assure that adolescents in need get help.”
Teens who are depressed typically lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, and typically lasts longer than two weeks. They may also struggle with low self-esteem and have trouble concentrating and sleeping. Some teens may also either stop eating as much as they normally do due to their feelings of depression, or begin to eat in excessive amounts in order to find comfort. They may also talk or move slowly, sleep more than normal, complain of excessive fatigue or have trouble remembering things. Teens with depression may also report feelings of sadness, emptiness, anger, numbness or worthlessness.
Aside from Oregon, other states with higher instances of depression included:
- Rhode Island
- Washington State
Many states in the southern United States recorded very low instances of depression, in addition to several other states. These states include:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
It is recommended that if you or someone you know is suffering from depression to seek advice from your GP. You can also phone the National Institute of Mental Health’s 24-hour helpline for free professional service at 1-800-273-8255.
Anna Scanlon is an author of YA and historical fiction and a PhD student at the University of Leicester where she is finishing her degree in modern history.