One in nine teens in the United States have had a major depressive episode

More US Teens May Be Facing Depression


Depression affects adolescents in every part of the United States. Depression has been shown to affect adolescents’ physical, emotional, and social development. Adolescents who suffer from depression are at increased risk for substance use, high-risk sexual behaviors, problems at school, problems with peer and family relationships, and suicide attempts. Like many mental disorders, depression can emerge during adolescence, and the prevalence of major depressive episode (MDE) generally increases with age through the adolescent years. Studies have shown that there is nearly a twofold increase in mood disorders from the 13- and 14-year-old age group to the 17- and 18-year-old age group. Because adolescent depression is a problem in every American community, this report provides state-level information on the prevalence of depression among adolescents. This information can inform policymakers’ and prevention specialists’ efforts to develop effective education, treatment, and prevention programs in their communities.

STATE ESTIMATES OF MAJOR DEPRESSIVE EPISODE AMONG ADOLESCENTS: 2013 AND 2014, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, July 07, 2016.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provides up-to-date estimates of MDE and treatment for depression among adolescents. NSDUH asks adolescents aged 12 to 17 about past year symptoms to determine whether they had MDE in the past year. MDE is defined using the diagnostic criteria from the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Adolescents were assessed as having MDE if they had a period of 2 weeks or longer during which they had either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, as well as at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-worth.

More US Teens May Be Facing Depression: Here’s Why, livescience, August 10, 2016.

This issue of The CBHSQ Report uses data from NSDUH to present state (including the District of Columbia) estimates of past year MDE among adolescents aged 12 to 17. Findings in this report are annual averages based on combined 2013–2014 NSDUH data from 39,600 adolescent respondents. Comparisons are made with combined 2012–2013 data to examine changes over time; 2012–2013 data are based on information obtained from 45,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17. The inclusion of a common year (i.e., 2013) in these comparisons increases the precision of the estimates and the ability to detect statistically significant differences between the two periods. Statistically significant differences between 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 indicate average annual change between 2012 and 2014. All changes discussed in this report are statistically significant at the .05 level of significance.

Estimates are displayed in a U.S. map (Figure 1) and in Table 1. For the estimates displayed in Table 1, states are listed alphabetically. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals are included as a measure of precision for each estimate. To produce the 2013–2014 MDE map (Figure 1), state estimates shown to two decimal places were first rank ordered from lowest to highest and then divided into quintiles (fifths). States with the lowest estimates (i.e., the lowest fifth) are assigned to the bottom quintile and are shown in dark blue. States with the highest estimates are assigned to the top quintile and are shown in dark red. All other states are assigned to one of three quintiles between the lowest and highest quintiles. A supporting table associated with the map (Table S1) provides estimates that are rank ordered from highest to lowest and then divided into quintiles.

4 thoughts on “One in nine teens in the United States have had a major depressive episode”

  1. And does that surprise anyone? From birth on we learn to be afraid and greedy. Afraid of not making it, afraid of our neighbors, of the police, of everything and everyone. We learn that we need to reach the top of the food chain to be happy. We learn that consuming and owning more and more is the goal. We learn that even people can be owned in some way.

    And is this true? Absolutely not. It’s a delicate illusion maintained by the economic rulers of this world to make us work for them instead of letting go and enjoying life.

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