By Susanna Schrobsdorff
November 15, 2016
Describing teens as moody and angsty is an old cliche. That stage of life is
loaded with drama and intense feelings. And it was ever thus-just go back
read your high school diary for evidence. But while anxiety and sadness
aren't new phenomena among adolescents, there's been a significant increase
in the percentage of young people aged 12-20 who have reported having a
major depressive episode (MDE).
A study of national trends in depression among adolescents and young adults
published in the journal Pediatrics on November 14 found that the prevalence
of teens who reported an MDE in the previous 12 months jumped from 8.7% in
2005 to 11.5% in 2014. That's a 37 percent increase. (An MDE is defined as a
period of at least two weeks of low mood that is present in most situations.
Symptoms include low self-esteem, loss of interest in normally enjoyable
activities, and problems with sleep, energy and concentration.)