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.

What’s behind the increase?

“Many people are worried about how busy they are,” said Dr. Laurel Williams, chief of psychiatry at Texas Children’s Hospital.

“There’s a lack of community. There’s the amount of time that we spend in front of screens and not in front of other people. If you don’t have a community to reach out to, then your hopelessness doesn’t have any place to go.”

Kids and young adults, especially, feel rushed and pressured, Williams said.

While social media can connect people who might otherwise feel isolated, it can also help pile on the pressure, she said.

“I wouldn’t say that social media is responsible for a rise in depression — more the being rushed and lack of connections that we have in the structure of how we live lives now,” she added.

But Dr. Karyn Horowitz of Bradley Hospital in Rhode Island thinks social media may be a big factor.

“For some kids, video game use can become an addiction leading to social isolation, poor school performance, and impaired sleep,” she said.

“It is possible that the increased rates of depression in adolescents is related to a combination of increased electronics use and sleep disruptions in already vulnerable individuals,” she added.

For the report, Blue Cross and Blue Shield looked at medical health insurance claims from 41 million insurance holders.

This is part of a MSNBC article which you can find here.

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