Americans Today More Depressed Than Their 1980s Counterparts

New research from San Diego State University has found that depression has been rising steadily for more than a decade among adolescents and adults, reports PsychCentral.

In contrast to recent studies that show a rise in the number of people treated for depression, this study, the author asserts, reflects a true uptick of the number of Americans suffering from depression because of its focus on the reporting of psychosomatic symptoms.

The findings are based on an analysis of data collected from 6.9 million people. Highlights include:

  • Compared to their 1980s counterparts, teens in the 2010s are 38 percent more likely to have difficulty recalling things and 74 percent more likely to have trouble sleeping. They are also two times more likely to seek professional help for mental health.
  • Among college students, they were 50 percent more likely to feel overwhelmed. 
  • Adults were more likely to report restless sleep, poor appetite and that daily activities were “an effort.”

Interestingly, despite experiencing symptoms commonly associated with depression (difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite, etc.), when asked directly people were not more likely to say they were depressed.

The study was published in the journal Social Indicators Research.