Extreme Teenage Mental-Health Crisis

From 2009 to 2021 the percent of high school students reporting “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” rose from 26 percent to 44 percent according to a CDC study. This is the highest level of sadness ever recorded. Derek Thompson writes in The Atlantic after analyzing CDC data that almost every measure of mental health is getting worse, for every teenage demographic and it’s happening all over the country. However, sadness among white teens is rising faster than among other groups. He proposes four reasons for these increases: social-media use, sociality is down, the world is stressful and there is more news about these stressors and modern parenting strategies. The world is overwhelming to not only teens but for moms and dads as well. These societal trends amplified by a global pandemic and social isolation makes the dramatic rise in teenage sadness not that mysterious or surprising.