8 Eye-Opening Statistics on Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents

8 Eye-Opening Statistics on Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents


  • 1 in 5 teens have a mental health disorder each year.
  • 1 in 3 teens have an anxiety disorder.
  • 1 in 8 teens experience major depression; higher rates in girls (1 in 5) than boys (1 in 15).
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for teens aged 15-19.
  • Social media use is linked to more depression, anxiety, and sleep issues.
  • Half of mental illnesses start by age 14.
  • Mental health issues cause school absenteeism, hurting grades and well-being.
  • 60% of depressed teens don’t get treatment.

High Prevalence of Mental Health Issues

High Prevalence of Mental Health Issues

Approximately 20% of adolescents experience a mental health disorder each year.

This translates to about 1 in 5 teens dealing with a diagnosable mental health issue, indicating a widespread and significant public health concern among this age group.

Anxiety Disorders

  • Around 31.9% of adolescents (ages 13-18) have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
  • Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health issues among teens.

Depression Rates:

Major depressive episodes affect about 13.3% of adolescents, with higher rates observed in females (20%) compared to males (6.8%).

This gender disparity highlights the need for gender-specific approaches to mental health care and support.

Suicide as a Leading Cause of Death

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents aged 15-19 years.
  • This underscores the critical need for early intervention and support.

Impact of Social Media

School Absenteeism

Studies suggest that heavy use of social media is associated with increased risks of depression, anxiety, and sleep problems among adolescents.

The pervasive use of social media platforms among teens necessitates further research and the development of guidelines to mitigate these risks.

Early Onset of Symptoms

  • Nearly 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.
  • This highlights the importance of early identification and treatment.

School Absenteeism

Mental health disorders are a leading cause of chronic absenteeism in schools, affecting academic performance and overall well-being.

Addressing mental health in school settings is essential to ensure that students can achieve their full academic potential and maintain their overall health.

Access to Mental Health Services

Suicide as a Leading Cause of Death

  • Despite the high prevalence of mental health issues, about 60% of adolescents with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment.
  • This highlights significant gaps in care.


Kessler, R.C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K.R., & Walters, E.E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593-602.

Merikangas, K.R., He, J.P., Burstein, M., Swanson, S.A., Avenevoli, S., Cui, L., Benjet, C., Georgiades, K., & Swendsen, J. (2010). Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication–Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 49(10), 980-989.

Twenge, J.M., Joiner, T.E., Rogers, M.L., & Martin, G.N. (2018). Increases in depressive symptoms, suicide-related outcomes, and suicide rates among U.S. adolescents after 2010 and links to increased new media screen time. Clinical Psychological Science, 6(1), 3-17.

Luxton, D.D., June, J.D., & Fairall, J.M. (2012). Social media and suicide: A public health perspective. American Journal of Public Health, 102(S2), S195-S200.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2020). Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. National Institute of Mental Health.