Ebola, enterovirus-68, terrorism, a difficult job market even for college grads, a stock market going up and down like a yo yo, dire warnings of the results of climate change – just to name a few of the very real concerns facing us these days. Is it any wonder, then that Americans are more depressed than ever?
In a new study,lead author San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge, PhD stated found that people today are not willing to say they are depressed when asked directly which has skewed the data.
However she stated in a news release that her findings show “an increase in symptoms most people don’t even know are connected to depression, which suggests adolescents and adults really are suffering more.”
The research team analyzed national data from four different surveys of 6.9 million adolescents and adults, comparing groups from the 1980’s with their counterparts in this decade. The more recent group which included college students reported having significantly more difficulty sleeping, thinking, remembering and concentrating compared to the group from three decades ago.
College students stated that they often felt “overwhelmed” while adults experienced loss of appetite, shortness of breath and restless sleep.
The group from this decade was also twice as likely to see a physician for general mental health issues.
If there is any good news in Dr. Twenge’s report, the suicide rate among teens has decreased slightly which the author attributes to the use of antidepressants.