Depression becoming more common among US teens

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The number of U.S. adolescents and young adults with untreated depression may be on the rise, a recent study suggests.

For youth ages 12 to 17, the prevalence of depression increased from 8.7 percent in 2005 to 11.3 percent in 2014, the study found. Among adults aged 18 to 25, the prevalence climbed from 8.8 percent to 9.6 percent during the study period.

But there hasn’t been much change in the proportion of teens and young adults seeking mental health treatment, the study also found.

“We already know that teens have much more depression than is currently being recognized or treated,” said Dr. Anne Glowinski, a child psychiatry researcher at Washington University in St. Louis who wrote an editorial accompanying the study.

“What this study adds is that rates of youth depression have significantly increased in the last decade and that the proportion of recognized/treated young people appears unchanged despite efforts to encourage pediatricians to focus on suicide prevention which includes more recognition and treatment of youth depression,” Glowinski added by email.

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