When it comes to depression there is still a lot to learn, and while new information is continually being revealed, such as the recent study which linked the mood disorder to problems with memory, one issue that researchers have found is that there has been a surge in diagnoses over the last five years. According to a press release from PR Newswire, Blue Cross Blue Shield has been tracking diagnoses of depression since 2013.
The study from BCBS indicates that major depression has risen the most among millennials, as well as adolescents. This means that it is the younger generations who are dealing with this mood disorder the most in America.
Since 2013, 33 percent more people have been diagnosed with depression than ever before. Unfortunately, this number is most likely higher, as this study could not take into account people who do not have health insurance or people who simply can not afford to be treated for their mental health.
The study determined that women are much more likely to deal with the mood disorder. In fact, women were diagnosed with depression “at double the rate of men.” These diagnoses varied from state to state, with some states seeing much higher rates of the mood disorder than others.
BCBS also learned that people who had been diagnosed with depression were actually less healthy than their counterparts who were not dealing with the mood disorder. The study determined that people who had been diagnosed with depression also suffered from at least one other chronic health condition. Almost 30 percent of the people in the study who were diagnosed with the mood disorder were said to have more than four different chronic conditions.
A chief medical officer from BCBS, Trent Haywood, said that based on the study’s findings they have determined there has been a massive surge in depression diagnoses in the last five years in America, with the primary diagnoses being made among millennials and adolescents. This is important to note because of the major impact on health and wellness that it may have over the course of the coming years.
Major depression is on the rise among Americans from all age groups, but is rising fastest among teens and young adults, new health insurance data shows.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 11, 2018
Haywood explained that this study has made it clear that even more research and education is needed in order to determine how they can better treat people who present with depression. The goal is to find a way to not only treat the mood disorder more effectively, but also “begin a path to recovery and better overall health.”
One thing that the study touched upon specifically was the idea that technology and social media may potentially be a trigger for depression in younger people. Haywood revealed that preliminary literature has pointed to higher levels of social media use being more isolating than one would believe. This social isolation can be a problem and contributing factor when it comes to a diagnosis of depression.
However, the relationship between these two factors needs to be explored further, in order to determine if social media use is in fact contributing to the increased level of depression diagnoses in America over the last five years.
Ultimately, this information on the instances of depression in America is based on people who have actually been seen by medical professionals. This means that there are likely even more people suffering with the mood disorder who have yet to be seen or treated by a professional.
Written by Kimberley Spinney
PR Newswire – Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Study Shows Surge in Major Depression Diagnoses
Blue Cross Blue Shield – The Health of America Report
Image Credit – Pixabay – Creative Commons