Social media tied to rise in teen mental health disorders

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Kids often spend time glued to their devices. Now, a national survey shows that social media may be a factor in rising mental health issues among young people.

A new study suggests Gen Z’ers, those born in 1995 or later, are more emotionally distressed than ever before. New research says kids ages 12-17 had a more than 50% increase in depression or anxiety over the last decade. Young adults aged 18-25, up even more with a 71% increase in psychological distress.

Researchers say symptoms spiked in 2011, when social media hit the scene. Researchers found no increase in mood disorders for those over 26 years old.

Potentially contributing to the problem is lack of sleep. The study found that younger generations are more sleep deprived, with experts asking if the cause comes from smartphone use at night. Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety and depression.

Experts encourage kids to talk to parents/adults about their feelings and understand that depression most likely won’t get better on its own, so seek help from a professional.