According to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenage girls in the United States are displaying record amounts of unhappiness and distress. This is the first time that an agency of the federal government has released such a report, and its findings signal a potential mental health crisis.
The report surveyed over 11,000 teenage girls aged 12 and over, and found that more than 1 in 5 girls are “experiencing a major depressive episode within the past year.” This is effectively double the rate of depression experienced by teenage boys, and the report goes on to note that this gender disparity highlights an urgent need for greater mental health education and outreach.
In addition to feelings of prolonged unhappiness and depression, the report found that teenage girls are more likely to suffer from anxiety and problems sleeping than their male counterparts. This is a particularly concerning issue given that physical and mental health issues arising from unrestful sleep can have an immense long-term impact on both physical health and cognitive development.
The CDC report advises American parents and educators to focus on helping teenage girls become more aware of their mental health and to know that they have access to safe and professional forms of treatment. Furthermore, the report also underscores the fact that teenage girls need more support and understanding when it comes to their developing minds; it suggests that parents and educators alike should be working to ensure that teenage girls are able to confront any issues they may have without the fears of judgement or shaming.
It is clear that teenage girls in the United States are facing an alarming mental health predicament that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The CDC report may provide much needed awareness, however it is up to the individual parents and educators to take the necessary steps to ensure that all teenage girls have the resources and support that they need to take care of their mental wellbeing. It is only through this approach that we can ensure these young minds are able to reach their full potential.
Adolescent girls reported high fees of disappointment, suicidal feelings and sexual violence, as did teenagers who determined as homosexual or bisexual.