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Nearly One in 10 U.S. Teens, Adults Had Past-Year Depression

Last Updated: September 22, 2022.

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- From 2015 to 2019, there were widespread increases in depression in the United States, particularly in teens and young adults, without commensurate increases in treatment, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Renee D. Goodwin, Ph.D., from the City University of New York in New York City, and colleagues used data from the 2015 to 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to assess the prevalence of past-year depression and help-seeking for depression among participants aged 12 years and older.

The researchers found that in 2020, 9.2 percent of Americans aged 12 years and older experienced a past-year major depressive episode. Young adults aged 18 to 25 years (17.2 percent) most frequently had depression, followed closely by adolescents aged 12 to 17 years (16.9 percent). Across nearly all sex, racial/ethnic, income, and education groups, depression increased most rapidly among adolescents and young adults. There was no change in depression prevalence among adults aged 35 years or older. During the study period, the prevalence of help-seeking remained consistently low.

"Decisive action involving a multipronged public health campaign that includes evidence-based prevention and intervention to address this ongoing mental health crisis is urgently needed," the authors write.

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