Mar 8, 2019, Jackson (TN) Sun: Why are our teenagers so depressed? https://www.jacksonsun.com/story/news/local/2019/03/08/why-our-teenagers-so-depressed/3106236002 / There’s a new epidemic attacking our society: adolescent depression. Over the last decade, the rates have been steadily inclining and the stats are alarming. According to a recent report by BlueCross/BlueShield in 2018 the depression rate for adolescents (ages 12–17) since 2013 has risen 63 percent: 47 percent for teenage boys and 65 percent for teenage girls. Recent studies indicate that up to 20 percent of all teens in the U.S. suffer from clinical depression: that’s one-in-five. According to the Johns Hopkins Health Review (fall/winter 2017), around 3 million young people between 12 and 17 had experienced at least one major depressive episode over the course of a one-year period . This finding was consistent no matter the geographical location, whether among urban, rural, or suburban populations. Moreover, various alarming behaviors, such as self-harm, have also been growing. … We all know that being a teenager can be difficult, especially with all the physical, psychological and social changes occurring at this pivotal time in life. While it’s normal for young people to experience ups and downs, sometimes depression may become a chronic condition. Contributing to the problem includes such things as unrealistic expectations, romantic relationship heartbreaks, academic pressure, and extracurricular stress. … With the general increased level of stress in our society, which triggers depression and mood disorders, those who are genetically or personality-wise predisposed to it, are particularly susceptible to the emergence of various symptoms during the confusing and difficult developmental stage of adolescence. … Dr. Ryan Fraser is an associate professor of clinical mental health counseling at Freed-Hardeman University and licensed clinical pastoral therapist.