We recently looked at loneliness in Generation Z and now there’s another eye-opening analysis we need to be paying more attention to. In a new report, WebMD states there has been a “sharp spike” in major depression, especially where teens and millennials are concerned. A closer look is nothing short of startling:
“The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association analysis of medical claims data showed that the overall rate of major depression was 4.4 percent and that diagnosis rates rose 33 percent between 2013 and 2016. Those rates increased 63 percent among teens and 47 percent among millennials,” the article states.
According to WebMD, Senior vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield Trent Haywood said we need more effective ways to treat major depression if we’re to tackle what could become a “substantial health impact for decades to come.” “Further education and research is needed to identify methods for both physicians and patients to effectively treat major depression and begin a path to recovery and better overall health,” he insisted.
So, is there an explanation for increased rates of depression amongst teens and millennials? Dr. Karyn Horowitz says electronics and sleep interruption in “already vulnerable individuals” may have something to do with it. As she explains, “Increased use of electronics, video games more commonly in boys and social media/texting more commonly in girls, can lead to increased conflict both within the home and with peers.” Haywood adds in the release, “In preliminary literature, high users of social media have been linked with higher rates of social isolation than low users.”
Another important finding? Women were reportedly twice as likely to be diagnosed with major depression, 6 percent vs. just 3 percent of men.