How Does Depression Affect Teenagers

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A hushed topic, depression in teenagers has been detected for decades. Still, few people are aware of just how prevalent the disorder is and how it impacts our society today. Cases of teenage depression have increased in number over time, thus causing a trend (Bansal 1). In America today, high school students are five to eight times more likely to suffer from depressive symptoms than teenagers were fifty or sixty years ago (Hales 1). In the past, diagnosis was very rare - it was thought only to be anxiety from the struggles of everyday life; now, technology and improved research have raised awareness of this mental illness. Treatment options and methods have increased along with it. It is becoming socially acceptable in today’s society to have depression, so more affected …show more content…
Many, especially in the U.S., attend multiple physical buildings as they transition between elementary, middle, and high school. “Changes...are likely to increase social comparison, concerns about evaluation, and competitiveness” (Eccles 93). Educational establishments are prime locations for measuring one’s abilities against his or her peers’, and studies suggest that “people who spontaneously make frequent social comparisons experience more destructive emotions and behaviors” such as anxiety or depression (White 36). The onset of puberty and its attributes, specifically, can also cause symptoms of depression that can differentiate depending on gender. In a study from 1990, researchers noticed that girls specifically “who reported low self-esteem because of worries about appearance were more likely to report depression a month later.” While the number of depressed girls at this particular school made up four percent of the female population, only half of the number of boys, two percent, were diagnosed (Goleman 1).
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