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Mental health issues increasing for younger Americans

Social Security Disability Insurance provides benefits for qualifying people who can no longer work because of disabling mental conditions. Under some circumstances, disabling conditions can include severe cases of depression, anxiety and other relatively common mental health issues. However, it's important to note that a worker must have earned enough work credits to qualify for the program.

This is an important thing to remember because at least one study has suggested that increasing numbers of young people are suffering from mental health issues, at rates that exceed those of older Americans.

According to a major study published earlier this year in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, the rate of adolescents reporting symptoms of major depression rose 52% between 2005 and 2017. For young adults, ages 18-25, that rate jumped 63%. Analyzing data from 2008 to 2017, the researchers found the rate of young adults reporting serious psychological distress in the previous 30 days rose by an alarming 71%.

Over the same time periods, researchers found no significant increase in the numbers of older adults who reported experiencing psychological distress or depression.

Researchers were unsure what is behind the rise in mental health issues for the young. One possible culprit is the growth of social media. Researchers said better practices with social media use could help people live healthier lives.

However, for many individuals, the mental health issues that develop in youth can turn into life-long conditions that may make it difficult to hold down a job. Social Security Disability benefits can help, but younger people may lack the required number of work hours. To qualify for SSD, a person must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least five of the previous 10 years.

An attorney with Social Security Disability law can help people understand their options.

for mental conditions; depression; emotional

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