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20 June 2024 : Review article  

A New Pandemic of the XXIst Century: The Growing Crisis of Adolescent Depression in the Digital Age

Magdalena Cyrkler ORCID logo1ABDEFG*, Kamil Zygmunt Czerwiak ORCID logo1BDEF, Aleksandra Drabik ORCID logo1BDEF, Ewelina Soroka ORCID logo1ADEG

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.944838

Med Sci Monit 2024; 30:e944838

Abstract

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In a reality dominated by social media and affected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the mental health of people in various age groups has undoubtedly suffered, especially among young people. Statistics confirm that adolescent depression is a significant health problem and is the most common cause of disability in this age group. Research shows the multifactorial basis of this disease entity, placing particular emphasis on the genetic, environmental, and biological background. A family history of depression can increase the risk of developing depression by 4-fold. A teenager, being part of many systems, such as family, school community, and social media co-user, is exposed to many stressors. Maturing youth have a very demanding educational plan to implement, and depression causes a decline in cognitive functions, which are so important in acquiring knowledge. Among many patients, an additional risk is self-harm and suicide, which are part of the clinical picture of depressive disorders. Suicide accounts for about one-third of mortality among youth. We draw attention to the need to increase educational and psychoeducational impacts on adolescent depression, as it is a huge health problem that has an impact on all areas of a young person’s life. The trend of depression among adolescents is constantly increasing. The aim of this article is to review the global causes and consequences of the growing number of cases of depression, self-harm, and suicide among children and adolescents, as well as contemporary approaches to management.

Keywords: Depression, Adolescent Psychiatry, Adolescent Health

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750