Is the Rates Of Diagnosed Mental Illnesses Increasing in Our Youth?


Mental health is a worldwide issue, especially over the past few decades with such high prices for a psychiatrist. There were not as many mental illnesses in the 1980s as there are now.

Lizzy Hunter and April Dahlen, Staff Writer

Many children around the United States suffer from mental illnesses, including ADHD, depression, anxiety disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). All of these can be difficult to live with, as they all affect people’s actions, usually in harmful ways.


While the known amount of diagnoses are increasing, that does not quite mean the amount of people who actually have these disorders is increasing. Diagnosis of mental disorders are just getting better, which can make it seem like mental disorders are on the rise.


“In the past, social issues were swept under the rug. It could just be that we’re more open to talking about it in this day and age,” sophomore Emily McNealy said, “or maybe it is a rising issue because of the way our world is evolving.”


Mental Health America, a community-based nonprofit that is dedicated to help people who have mental illness and to promote the overall mental health of every American, found that the rate of youth that experiences Major Depressive Episodes (MDE) have increased from 11.93 percent to 12.63 percent .


“I think that is a very important matter; mental illness is very serious,“ junior Amy Driver said, “and something should be done to find the cause behind the increase as well as ways to prevent, help reach out, diagnose, and treat people with depression.”


Also, according to the Washington Post, diagnosis of anxiety have increased by 20 percent

between 2007 and 2012 for ages 6 to 17. Treatment has not been received to help MDE with youth kids. 62% did not get treatment. MDE is major depressive episode.


“While I don’t know if the increase in these mental illnesses is true, most of my friends do have problems with anxiety, depression and sometimes both,” freshman Brian Dahlen said.


Untreated illnesses can lead to suicidal thoughts and attempts to take one’s own life. Suicide is the tenth most common killer in the United States. The reported deaths from suicide have been increasing over the years, according to Medical News Today.


People who do not get the attention they need tend to get worse and worse. If you or anyone you know is going through these kinds of health problems, find somebody who can and will help.