CHICAGO, IL (CBS Local) – A study by health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield found that the number of Americans diagnosed with severe depression has risen by a staggering 33 percent in recent years  The Details:
- One study found that severe depression cases have risen by 33 percent since 2013
- Teens and millennials show the biggest jump in diagnoses
- Doctors consider increased social media and electronics as cause
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), which assures more than 1
"The high rates for adolescents and millennials could have a significant health impact for decades," BCBSA senior physician Trent Haywo od said in a press release
The organization's Health of America Report adds that more than 9 million Americans with health insurance have been diagnosed with severe depression. Women were twice as likely to be diagnosed with severe depression than men. The study found that depression was likely associated with other problems the patient was dealing with, as 85 percent of the diagnosed patients also had other chronic conditions.
Doctors noted that the increasing use of electronics and social media may be increasing an important role in the growing number of depression, especially in younger patients. "Increased use of electronics, video games more often in boys and social media / more often in girls, can lead to increased conflicts both within the home and with peers," said Dr. Karyn Horowitz.
"High social media users were associated with higher rates of social isolation than lower users," added Haywood.
BCBSA found that the highest rates of depression were found in New England, with Rhode Island and Maine the highest rates in the region. The lowest depression rates in the US were found in Hawaii, followed by Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Wyoming.