It’s not pleasant to hear, especially if you are a parent, but there is a teen mental health crisis in the United States right now. Sadly, between 2007 and 2019, there was a 60% increase in major depressive episodes in adolescents, with more and more emergency room visits for anxiety, mood disorders and self-harm issues. Even more alarming, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that suicide rates also increased by 60% from 2007 to 2018 in ages 10 to 24.
This youth crisis is not a direct effect of the Covid pandemic, but it has intensified in conjunction. It has also been an equal-opportunity offender, affecting adolescents in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups, including those in both rural and urban areas.
So, what is the root of the problem? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly, but researchers and mental health leaders have a few leads. Puberty has long been a triggering point in an adolescent’s life, stirring up a multitude of feelings and emotions. This is even more exacerbated with the powerful influence of social media and its never-ending supply of stimuli. Many young people are facing daunting questions over self-identity and are then finding the need to balance it against the onslaught of what they see and hear on social media; proving difficult for the young brain to process. It’s no wonder that ADHD diagnoses rose 39% between 2003 and 2016, and prescriptions for antidepressants in teenagers rose by 38% between 2015 and 2019.
Another significant and common cause in these adolescent issues may also be loneliness, with studies showing that U.S. teenagers are reporting increased levels of loneliness due to less in-person interaction.
Luckily, these distressing trends are occurring at a time when mental health stigmas have decreased and seeking help is more widely accepted, both with adolescents and their parents.
Victress, A Wellness Center for Women, located at 7120 W. 127th in Palos Heights, Illinois, is a behavioral health practice in the south suburbs of Chicago, specifically for women and adolescent girls.
Parents of teen girls can find behavioral health services, including individual and group therapy for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, self-identity, eating disorders, relationships, school issues, self-confidence and other common topics that are currently affecting pre-teens and teens in high numbers.
Victress’ vision is to empower every woman, and especially every girl, that enters its doors, providing each with the tools and skills necessary for accomplishing her own unique set of goals. To schedule an appointment, please call 708-428-2527 or visit www.victresswellness.com.