Teenage girls feel persistent sadness double the rate of boys in 2021, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings showed that nearly three in five teenage girls felt persistent sadness in 2021 and one in three girls seriously considered attempting suicide.
“I think there’s really no question what this data is telling us,” Dr. Kathleen Ethier, head of the C.D.C.’s adolescent and school health program, told the New York Times. “Young people are telling us that they are in crisis.”
The pandemic could be part of the reason for the spotlight on mental health.
“There was a mental health crisis before the pandemic — it just didn’t catch everyone’s attention the way it does now,” Dr. Cori Green, the director of behavioral health education and integration in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, told the New York Times.
The research also showed high levels of violence, depression and suicidal thoughts among lesbian, gay and bisexual youth. Overall, the rates of sadness are the highest reported in a decade.
About 57 percent of girls and 69 percent of gay, lesbian or bisexual teenagers reported feeling sadness every day for at least two weeks during the previous year. 14 percent of girls and 20 percent of gay, lesbian or bisexual adolescents said they had been forced to have sex at some point in their lives.
“When we’re looking at experiences of violence, girls are experiencing almost every type of violence more than boys,” Dr. Ethier told the New York Times.
What Do You Think?