Adults have long been notorious for neglecting mental health issues prevalent in teenagers. Now, this global problem is finally getting the attention it deserves.
Because teen suicide and depression statistics are skyrocketing, researchers are dedicating numerous studies to increase our awareness of teenage mental health.
Through these studies, we are now more aware of the correlation of mental health to other aspects of a teen’s life.
Most of these aspects may seem inherently related to mental health, but because of teen depression statistics, we are now more confident of the relationship between depression and anxiety.
For instance, we all know that excessive consumption of junk food is detrimental, but recent studies show it also has a long-term impact on mental health.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most important findings on teenage mental health.
Essential Teen Depression Facts (Editor’s Pick)
- Physical inactivity increases the risk of depression among college students.
- Lack of sleep increases an adolescent’s risk for depression.
- About 10% to 20% of teenagers worldwide suffer from mental health conditions.
- Most countries allocate only approximately 2% of the health budget to mental health.
- 65% of teenagers experiencing mental health problems deal with their issues on their own.
- Only 27.3% of teenagers who suffer from severe depression receive consistent treatment.
- LGB youths are more susceptible to drug use and depression than heterosexual teenagers.
Teenage Mental Health Facts
1. Physical inactivity increases the risk of depression among college students.
Researchers couldn’t fully state the relationship between physical inactivity and depression as one of the teen depression facts. They couldn’t build a strong connection until the pandemic forced people to stay at home.
At the onset of the pandemic, the average steps of adolescents decreased from 10,000 steps to 4,600 steps. During this time, the risk for clinical depression in the youth went up from 46% to 61%.
But, it might be worth noting that shifting socialization time and sleep patterns may have contributed to the percent increase in depression.
2. Lack of sleep increases an adolescent’s risk for depression.
One of the most crucial facts about teen depression lies in sleep deprivation. Most people are already aware of how much sleep can affect a person’s mood, but some are unaware of how closely linked it is to depression.
Studies show that adolescents who exhibit depression symptoms get 3.5 hours less sleep than other teenagers.
Further, insomnia statistics suggest that sleep deprivation at 15 years old can increase teenagers’ risk of developing mental health problems.
3. Adolescents who eat junk food are more susceptible to depression.
(Science News for Students)
There are several facts on teen depression that adults often overlook, and the ill effects of junk food on mental health is one of them.
According to researchers, junk food can impair teenagers’ cognitive skills, making controlling their behavior difficult.
But more than impulsive behavior, research shows that adolescents who eat the most junk food are 50% more susceptible to exhibit symptoms of depression.
Global Trends in Teen Depression and Anxiety
4. About 10% to 20% of teenagers around the world suffer from mental health conditions.
The adolescence period in a human being’s life is a formative stage. It’s during this time that developing healthy habits socially and emotionally are essential.
Failing to establish these habits and skills can take a toll on a teenager’s mental state. Sadly, this appears to be the case for some adolescents.
The global teenage mental illness statistics estimate that 10% to 20% of adolescents suffer from underdiagnosed and undertreated mental health conditions.
5. 90% of teenage suicide cases come from low or middle-income countries.
According to global teen depression and suicide statistics, suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents aged 15 to 19.
And based on the WHO’s data, about 90% of these older teenagers who commit suicide live in low to middle-income countries. WHO considers several social issues like childhood abuse and alcohol use as risk factors.
6. 27% of adolescents and young adults in Latin America and the Caribbean have reported feeling anxious amid Covid-19.
Anxiety and depression amid the pandemic are becoming a cause for concern. UNICEF’s latest anxiety and depression statistics in Latin America and the Caribbean show that 27% of adolescents and young adults feel anxious.
This figure came from a recent poll on 8,444 adolescents and young adults in the region. Aside from anxiety, the statistics also reveal that 15% of this age group are battling depression.
Research suggests that these mental health issues are a result of somber economic situations.
7. The pandemic disrupted 72% of mental health services for children and teenagers.
Even before Covid-19 reached the different parts of the world, mental health problems had already been a significant concern among teenagers.
Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has intensified this problem. But despite the growing teen and young adult depression and anxiety statistics, mental health care seems elusive.
For instance, 40% of teenagers and young adults in the UK say their mental health grew worse because of the pandemic. Yet, 72% of mental health services for this age group have been interrupted.
8. Most countries allocate only approximately 2% of the health budget to mental health.
The global teen depression trends for mental health budget show disheartening fund allocation in several countries.
Apparently, countries typically dedicate only 2% of the national health budget to mental health. Despite the rising number and severity of the cases, the world is still underfunding mental health in general.
However, research suggests it makes more economic sense to invest in mental health. Studies show that, globally, anxiety and depression costs $1 trillion every year, but every dollar in mental health generates five dollars in return.
Teen Depression Stats in the US
9. 46% of parents think their children are exhibiting signs of mental health problems.
The pandemic has taken its toll not just on people’s physical health but also on their mental well-being. Unfortunately, teenage depression statistics and studies show that the pandemic has a more pronounced impact on adolescents.
About 46% of parents report that their teenagers show signs of new or worsening mental health issues because of the pandemic.
This results from isolation from friends, cancellation of social activities, months spent on virtual learning.
10. Almost two-thirds of teenagers in the US believe the pandemic will have a lasting impact on them.
(National 4-H Council)
The most recent poll on US teenagers shows that the youth are more secure about their physical health than their mental health.
Unsurprisingly, statistics on teen depression show 81% of American adolescents believe mental health is a significant issue for teenagers. Though anxiety and depression are already growing concerns among adolescents, the pandemic aggravated the problems.
In fact, 64% of teenagers believe Covid-19 will have lifelong reverberating effects on their generation’s mental health.
11. 65% of teenagers experiencing mental health problems deal with their issues on their own.
(National 4-H Council)
The most recent statistics about teen depression show disheartening figures on how teens cope with mental health problems.
About 75% of adolescents in the US believe there’s still a stigma on mental health problems in the country.
And though 62% say they are tired of pretending to be happy, 67% still feign feeling better so no one would worry about them.
12. Only 27.3% of teenagers who suffer from severe depression receive consistent treatment.
There’s little doubt that a considerable gap between mental health issues and treatment exists in the US. The statistics on treatment for teen depression show just how wide the gap is currently.
In fact, out of all the severe cases of depression, only 27.3% receive consistent treatment. Though states with the most significant access for mental health treatment have better figures, the percentage of the chasm is still substantial.
The latest statistics show that 38% of adolescents residing in states with better mental health care aren’t receiving the treatment they need.
13. Teenagers suffering from severe major depressive episodes increased by 121,000 from the previous year’s data.
According to statistics for teen depression, approximately 2.2 million teenagers suffer from severe major depression.
This alarming figure is 121,000 more cases compared to the previous year’s records. The data also shows Nevada as the state with the most prevalent severe major depressive episodes at 13.2%.
Typically, depression among teens coexists with other disorders like substance addiction and anxiety.
14. According to teenage anxiety statistics, approximately 8% of youth experience anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorder isn’t just a problem that plagues adults. It can happen to children and teenagers as well. According to statistics on anxiety, approximately 8% of children and adolescents struggle with anxiety disorder.
Further, research shows that people suffering from this disorder develop symptoms before they reach 21 years old. This means that people who have anxiety disorder deal with and endure their symptoms during their teenage years.
15. 71% of teenagers with depression experience impairment because of their mental disorder, according to depression statistics in teens.
It’s not uncommon for teenagers to demonstrate confusing behavioral responses because of hormones and external factors.
However, when the teenager starts to exhibit lethargy, lack of motivation, and feelings of hopelessness, the parents need to take the symptoms seriously.
Aside from severe depression leading to suicidal thoughts, the disorder causes impairment to 71% of adolescents with depression.
16. The percentage of teenage girls taking antidepressants in the US increased from 7.3% to 10.2% in five years.
According to the latest female teen depression statistics, adolescent girls taking antidepressants are steadily increasing. Further, data shows that female teens take nearly twice as many antidepressants as teenage men.
The latest available records show that 10.2% of adolescent girls took antidepressants, while only 5.3% of male teenagers took antidepressants.
17. LGB youths are more susceptible to drug use and depression than heterosexual teenagers.
Depression among teenagers is a prevalent problem in the US and around the world. Approximately 3.2 million American teenagers suffer from depression.
And according to teen depression statistics, LGB teenagers are more prone to developing depression and drug dependence.
In fact, data shows that 23% of LGB youth attempted to commit suicide, while 6% of heterosexual teenagers tried to commit suicide.
18. Youth with a depressed parent have a 50% chance of developing depression.
There are several factors why a teenager develops depression, like abuse and trauma. However, the latest studies and statistics of teen depression show that genes play a crucial role in a child’s mental health.
Apparently, teenagers with one depressed parent are 50% likely to develop depression. The probability increases to 75% if both parents are struggling with depression.
Meanwhile, according to these stress statistics, only 14% of young people agree that their parents’ stress does not affect them. This is somewhat contrary to the belief of 69% of parents, saying their stress has no impact on their children.
19. Generation Z is the most depressed generation.
Depression in teenage statistics today identified the youth’s generation – Generation Z, as the most depressed generation.
Only 45% of this generation say they have excellent mental health, which is lower than the percentage of depressed people among Millennials.
Further, one in eight Americans aged 12 to 25 has experienced a major depressive episode. However, Generation Z is also the most likely to seek help and treatment for their depression and anxiety.
20. Teenage depression statistics over time show an increasing trend in over a decade.
The percentage of adolescents in the US suffering from major depressive episodes is increasing through the years.
Based on recent records, 23% of female teenagers suffer from major depressive episodes, a 9.9-percentage point difference from 16 years before.
The percentage of male adolescents also displayed a steady movement, but the increase remained slow.
Current records indicate that only 8.8% of male teenagers experience major depressive episodes, only 3.3 percentage points higher than the percentage 16 years prior.
21. According to childhood depression statistics, about 2% of children below ten years old develop depression.
Puberty is a difficult stage for children to go through. It’s during this time that they are developing physically and psychosocially.
As a result, children begin to break away from their families and establish connections with their peers and friends.
These behavioral changes are normal, but they can also be signs that puberty is contributing to depression.
Though depression happens only to 2% of children below ten years old, the figure increases with the children’s age.
Researchers believe that 5% to 8% of children between 10 to 14 years old will suffer from depression.
22. Teen depression statistics show increased insurance claims for depression at the onset of the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused devastating impacts on the mental health of adolescents.
According to medical and insurance records, claims for overdoses, self-harm, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression all increased at the height of the pandemic.
In fact, insurance claims for major depressive disorders increased by 84% year on year.
23. Researchers believe causation exists between social media use and depression.
Depression in teenagers statistics shows a correlation between social media and depression in adolescents and young adults.
Research reveals that adolescents and young adults with increased social media use are more likely to develop depression within six months.
For instance, those who spend 300 minutes per day on social media are 2.8 times more likely to develop depression than youth who spend 120 minutes.
24. White Americans have the highest percentage of depressed teenagers than any other race.
White Americans have a higher percentage of depression in teenagers, statistics show. Current data present that 71.6% of White American high school students felt hopeless almost every day for at least two weeks within one year.
On the other hand, only 51.1% of Black American teenagers experienced hopelessness for at least two weeks in a given year.
Depression is one of the most common teenage mental health issues today. The problem is so prevalent that the World Health Organization believes it will be one of the top health concerns by 2030.
This is alarming for adolescent mental health since most teenagers prefer to deal with their depression on their own.
Clearly, adults need to take a more active role in helping teenagers address their depression correctly.
Several studies are trying to identify the leading cause of depression among teenagers. But, researchers are still uncertain which factors are more dominant than the others.
As of the latest studies, some of the most common factors include undernourishment, sleep problems, and physical inactivity.
Teenagers who develop major depressive episodes may have experienced or witnessed violence like physical or sexual abuse.
Depression among teenagers is a prevalent issue that affects all countries worldwide. Recent data estimates that depression affects 10.7% of all teenagers.
The percentage of depressed high school students is much higher at 29.9%. What’s more alarming is that 17% of high school students have contemplated suicide.
Despite these figures, it’s surprising that depression in adolescents is still unrecognized.
Although depression affects people of all age groups, gender, and ethnicity, some groups have a higher percentage of depressed individuals than others.
However, researchers are uncertain why some groups have higher percentages than others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression is highest among 18 to 29 years old.
The latest statistics show that 21% of individuals who belong to this age group suffer from depression.
According to statistics, teenagers who suffer from severe major depressive episodes increased by 121,000 compared to the previous year.
Much of the increase is a result of the pandemic’s restrictions on social activity and interaction. But apart from social constraints, the pandemic also disrupted most teenagers’ regular routines causing worry and fear.
Since most adolescents don’t have access to mental health care, they are left to deal with their issues on their own. This results in severe major depression.
According to the latest data, about 2.2 million adolescents experienced severe major depression in 2020. This is an increase of 121,000 cases from the previous year’s figure.
The drastic increase in number is predictable considering the challenges most teenagers experience because of the pandemic.
This is why adults need to be mindful of their teens’ behavioral changes and take an active role in helping adolescents cope with the crisis.
Teenagers who have depression exhibit several long-term effects. This includes low self-esteem, academic problems, failure, suicide, violence, alcoholism, and substance abuse. All these impacts affect society directly and indirectly.
For instance, alcoholism and substance abuse can harm the community if the depressed individual has no inhibitions and becomes violent.
Apart from these long-term effects on depressed teenagers, depression can also be costly. According to the latest adult and teen depression statistics, depression costs the world around $1 trillion every year.