Is Too Much Time Online Raising Suicide Risk in Teen Girls?

New medical research points to how much time teenage girls spend on online activities as a cause for the increase in rates of suicide, depression, and how likely the patients are to consider either. An analysis into injury data that resulted in fatalities over a fifteen year period prior to 2015 was central to the study. Two additional surveys that are ongoing were also involved in gathering information on the thoughts of about half a million American teenagers since the early 90s.

Psychology researchers say that starting in 2012, the number of suicide attempts, how often depression occurred, and actual suicides dramatically increased among teenage girls, though all teenagers were affected. The study showed that those teens who spent longer with online activities were more likely to have attempted suicide, thought about suicide, or to be someone suffering from depression. The suicide rate was found to have gone up by sixty-five percent over a five year period between 2010 and 2015. The study also found that symptoms of severe depression went up by nearly sixty percent over the same period of time. Even feelings of hopelessness and contemplation of suicide was up over ten percent. Depression risk as also affected by frequent online activity.

Key Points:

  • 1The researchers first reviewed CDC data concerning teen suicide, finding that the suicide rate for girls aged 13 to 18 had shot up by 65 percent between 2010 and 2015.
  • 2The polls revealed that the percentage of girls who said they’d experienced symptoms of severe depression had increased by 58 percent in that time frame.
  • 3At the same time, nearly half of teens who indicated they spend five or more hours a day on a smartphone, laptop or tablet said they had contemplated, planned or attempted suicide at least once.

A spike in the amount of time teenage girls in the United States spend online is a likely culprit behind the surge in rates of depression, suicide and contemplation of suicide, new research suggests.

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