Even though the world now has many more ways to communicate and connect with friends through technology, such as social media platforms, depression is still on the rise, notably among young people. A new study now suggests that more and more adolescents and young adults in the United States have untreated depression.

A new report published in Pediatrics has revealed that roughly one in 11 teens and young adults in the U.S. experience a major depressive disorder every year. Additionally, across a 10-year span, teenage girls were found to be significantly more vulnerable to depression than teenage boys.

The research team, from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, examined data collected between 2005 and 2014 by the U.S. National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, according to HealthDay. Participants included more than 172,000 teens between 12 and 17 years old, and almost 179,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Researchers asked participants if they’d experienced a variety of symptoms associated with depression. They also inquired about major depression episodes in the past year, and if they’d seen a doctor or received treatment.

"Economic factors, prospects about the future, neighborhood violence and many other things could be impacting the mental health of our youth," said researcher Dr. Anne Glowinski, who wrote an editorial that accompanied the study, according to HealthDay.

"And yes, one of those things could be social media or even something not on the radar, like an increase in sleep deprivation related to excessive Internet use," she suggested. "I am not telling you the latter is high on my list of suspects, but just that the list of suspected factors is long. There are really many possibilities that should be investigated as soon as possible."

Researchers found that the overall risk of depression risk rose yearly from under 9 percent in 2005 to about 11 percent by 2014 among all teens. Among young adults, it increased from just under 9 percent to about 10 percent.

Source: Mojtabai R, Glowinski A. National Trends in the Prevalence and Treatment of Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults. Pediatrics. 2016.

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