The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report with findings of increased waves of depression among teenage girls.
Studies show that there is a record high level of sadness, violence and mental health concerns. CDC data reports that this is the highest level reached in the past decade and they have conducted this study for the past three decades.
Kennedy Bonds, 18, is a student at Florida A&M University who was diagnosed with depression a few years ago. She says depression has been difficult to contain over the years, but she’s just learned how to live with it.
“Simple tasks like getting up to eat or going to class are made extremely hard because of my lack of energy,” Bonds said. “I take medication to help, but honestly over time I have just understood that it isn’t going anywhere or getting much easier.”
Not only did nearly three in five girls report feelings of despair, but they doubled the percentage of boys. All teens were analyzed, including LGBQ+. On all aspects, girls were increasingly greater than boys in numbers pertaining to mental health struggles and violent experiences. Chase Lilly, a first-year pre-physical therapy student at FAMU, says he believes the emotional difference stems from childhood misconceptions.
“Boys are not nurtured as much as girls growing up, so I think boys tend to hide their feelings to avoid being seen as weak,” Lily said. “Girls are raised to open up more and feel all of their emotions.”
Mykhael Cleveland, 18 and a student at FAMU, says she has never been depressed. Although she has not experienced extreme levels of sadness, she has been surrounded by it before. She says girls suffer from things like drama and relationships.
“During high school I saw this become a huge issue mostly due to social conflicts,” Cleveland said. “Depression can begin and manifest itself in so many ways, so I believe it is important to always check in on your peers.”
Debra Houry, the CDC’s chief medical officer, spoke on the health decline in teenagers.
“High school should be a time for trailblazing not trauma,” Houry said in a CDC press release. “These data show our kids need far more support to cope, hope and thrive.”
If you are experiencing feelings of depression or know someone who has been showing signs of extreme waves of sadness, call or text the Crisis Lifeline at 988. Signs include but are not limited to hopelessness, chronic fatigue and social isolation.