Teens more likely to feel depressed, self-harm and not get a full night’s sleep

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A study has found that teenagers are more likely to feel depressed, more likely to self-harm and less likely to enjoy a full night’s sleep than teenagers 10 years ago.

Despite this, it was found that teenagers were drinking and smoking less in 2015 than they were in 2005. These activities are often linked to poor mental health. This evidence suggests that the common causes of mental health problems may be shifting.

The study gathered data from two groups of 14-year-olds. One group all came from the same city and all were born between 1991 and 1992. The other group came from all over Britain and were born between 2000 and 2001.

By giving both groups the same questionnaire, data could be collected that highlighted the differences in how teenagers are feeling now compared to 10 years ago.

The study found that:

  • teenagers feeling depressed rose from 9% to 15%
  • the number of teenagers who had self-harmed rose from 12% to 14%
  • teenagers now were less likely to binge drink, smoke, have sex or take drugs.

Amanda Cavanagh, a medical negligence specialist at Ashtons Legal, says: “Social media and advertisers have a big part to play in the way youngsters view the world. Once mental health issues have been identified the major dilemma is obtaining treatment. It’s a sad fact that there are less and less available options for treatment, despite the government pledging more Mental Health resources.”


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