Why are More Young People Suffering from Mental Health Problems?

teens and mental health
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Does it ever seem like more young people are suffering from mental health problems than in the past? This is not your imagination – it’s fact. According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, rates of mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes have increased significantly among adolescents and young adults.

Globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder, and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-19-year-olds. Furthermore, depression, anxiety and behavioral disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents. 

So what is causing the increase in mental health problems? Researchers believe it’s a combination of factors. Let’s explore what these are. 

Social Media 

Social media became popular in the 2000s, around the same time that we started seeing higher rates of depression in young people. While researchers are still studying the effects of social media, there are some things we do know. 

At this time, evidence shows a link between social media and depression. In several studies, teenage and young adult users who spent the most time on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms were shown to have substantially higher rates of depression compared to those who spent the least time. 

Here are some of the reasons why social media can lead to depression: 

  • Connecting with peers online is less emotionally fulfilling, potentially leading to isolation 
  • Seeing perfect pictures online can cause a drop in self-esteem, particularly among girls who may view themselves negatively
  • Too much social media use can cut into the time that kids normally spend on activities that make them feel good

Parental Depression

It’s not just young people who suffer from depression and anxiety. Adults do, too. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults 18+. Major depressive disorder affects more than 16.1 million U.S. adults and is the leading cause of disability for people ages 15-44. Sadly, many of these cases do not receive appropriate behavioral therapy in New Jersey

With numbers like this, there’s no question that many parents are raising children while struggling with their own mental health problems. Children who live in these households are more likely to develop problems with self-esteem, depression, anxiety and emotional regulation. 

Stress and Lack of Coping Skills 

Did you know that teen stress rivals adult stress? A study from the American Psychological Association found that many teens feel overwhelmed, depressed or sad as a result of stress. It’s alarming that their stress is similar to that of adults!

To make matters worse, some teens lack essential coping skills. They don’t know how to deal with their emotions, so they isolate themselves from others, causing more stress. Some of this has to do with the fact that we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves, especially when we compare our lives to the lives of others on social media. 

Address Mental Health in a Caring, Compassionate Setting 

These are just a few of the reasons why more young people are suffering from mental health problems. It’s important to address mental health, otherwise it can raise the risk for substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, unhealthy technology use and other complications. To discuss your need for behavioral therapy in Princeton NJ, contact CTRLCare Behavioral Health today.