The following is excerpted from an online article posted by StudyFinds.
Depression is on the rise in the United States, according to sobering new research from Columbia University and City University of New York. Even more troubling, study authors add that even as depression has increased, there hasn’t been an uptick in people seeking mental health help or treatment.
Study authors say that in 2020, nearly one in 10 Americans reported having depression over the prior 12 months. Almost one in five adolescents or young adults reported the same.
Data used for this project was provided by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, spanning 2015 through 2020. That survey is a nationally representative poll of Americans aged 12 and older. Major depression is the most common mental disorder seen in the United States and is considered a strong risk factor for suicidal behavior.
“Our study updates the depression prevalence estimates for the U.S. population through the year 2020 and confirms escalating increases in depression from 2015 through 2019, reflecting a public health crisis that was intensifying in the U.S. even before the onset of the pandemic,” says lead study author Renee D. Goodwin, Ph.D., an adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and professor of Epidemiology at The City University of New York, in a statement.
Regarding 2020, nine percent of Americans aged 12 or older reported experiencing a past-year major depressive episode. However, the condition was deemed most common among both young adults (ages 18-25) and adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old. Both of those age groups exhibited depression rates right around the 17 percent mark.
Meanwhile, depression increased the fastest among adolescents and young adults, and also ballooned across close to all gender, racial/ethnic, income, and education groups.
“Our results showed most adolescents with depression neither told nor talked with a healthcare professional about depression symptoms nor received pharmacologic treatment from 2015 through 2020,” Prof. Goodwin notes.