Depression is a major health problem, with at least 5 percent of the world's population affected by it, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). What is more alarming is that these rates of depression in the population seem to be increasing. In the United States, it went up from 3.33% in 1991 to over 7% in 2002.
Common causes of depression include some physical illness, unemployment, family related issues, feelings of guilt, a sense of hopelessness and a feeling of being powerless about one's own destiny.
A research by Nuffield Foundation investigated the rates of depression among teenagers. It found that the rate of depression has significantly increased. One of the reasons for this could be that it is twice as likely now that the teenagers have divorced parents, than it was 30 years ago. 20% of 16 years old children have now experienced divorced parents, up from 10% in the 1970s.
Similarly, more young people are now in education rather than in paid employment, which leads to a longer adolescence period. 69% of people aged 16-18 were in full time education in 2009, up from 35% in 1985. This could also result in depression. Now, 2 in 30 boys are found to be depressed from 1 in 30, 30 years ago and 2 in 10 from 1 in 10 girls are now in depression. The rates have essentially doubled.
Lack of Religion
Another possible explanation for this rise in depression among people is the trend of people becoming less religious with time. A lack of belief in God and an afterlife magnifies life's disappointments and makes people feel as if, by failing, they have wasted their one and only chance.
Other Possible Causes of Depression
Women have higher rates of depression; a reason suggested for this is the new unattainable ideals of female beauty which makes common women feel depressed about their own physical conditions. A possible reason for generally increasing rates of depression could be that luxuries afforded by modern life and the fulfillment of all the basic desires leaves the mind to linger on the emotional states, causing depression.
No one cause can definitely be blamed for this problem, but there is no denying that the general increasing rates of stressed out population are increasing.
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