Aussie teens are more depressed than ever, study says

Report finds mental health issues have skyrocketed over the past 20 years

Aussie teens are more depressed than ever, study says
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Depression among Australian teenage girls is at record levels, a report has found.

The level of depression in Australian girls has more than doubled over the past 14 years and mental health problems among boys had also increased, according to the Black Dog Institute study.

The report, which looked at how the lives of Australian teenagers have changed during the past 20 years, found cyberbullying was having a major impact on young people’s mental health.

Research also showed a link between screen time and depression, particularly in teenage girls.

Other factors contributing to increased levels of depression included lack of sleep, loneliness, and lack of supportive social networks.

An institute spokesperson said depressed adolescents were far more likely to have difficulty participating in schoolwork and social and physical activities.

They were also five times more likely to have difficulty performing daily self-care tasks, she said.

"Adolescents with clinically significant symptoms of depression showed greater difficulty with daily functioning.”

The study also tracked children and young adults. It found that in children decreased physical activity, poor sleep and greater family stress during the pandemic may have contributed to increased numbers of children suffering depressive symptoms.

Young adults at higher risk for depression included those experiencing financial strain and loneliness. LGBTQIA+ young adults were especially vulnerable.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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