The American Academy of Pediatrics reported that the use of antidepressants was on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the use continued and began to accelerate post-COVID.

Researchers analyzed the IQVIA Longitudinal Prescription Database, which reports the dispensing of antidepressant prescriptions to adolescents and young adults.

In particular, the database considers antidepressant prescriptions dispensed to adolescents between ages 12-17, and young adults between ages 18-25, from 2016 to 2022, from most retail, mail-order, and long-term care pharmacies in the U.S.


  • 55.08% of respondents were aware of the rise of antidepressant prescriptions to young adults in the U.S.
  • 33.96% think that falling prey to social media toxicity leads to depression.
  • 70.94% of respondents think that cultural norms that keep girls from expressing themselves could build depression.

50.08% of respondents were aware of the fact that antidepressant prescriptions to young adults and adolescents in the U.S. increased by 64% from 2020 onwards. 37.46% were vaguely aware, while 12.46% of respondents were completely unaware.

According to the figures of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), antidepressant use among young girls aged between 12-17 rose after the initial COVID-19 lockdown. Real Research asked what could have been the factor that put antidepressant use on the rise among young girls. 22.10% of respondents stated that social isolation during the pandemic was a contributing factor that increased antidepressant use among young girls.

Fig. 1: Opinion on contributing factors to depression in girls

Mental health problems among young girls

11.56% of respondents think that academic disruption is a key factor contributing to antidepressant use among young girls. 21.06% believe that the loss of parents or guardians could have been the key contributing factor during COVID-19. 33.96% think that falling prey to social media toxicity was a major factor, while 11.32% of respondents thought that unemployment could have increased antidepressant use among young girls.

69.8% of participants in the survey think that female young adults are susceptible to suffering depression when compared to males, while 30.20% disagree on the above notion. Depression in females during puberty was twice as common in males hitting puberty.

Rising use of antidepressants among young adults and teens

Real Research asked the opinion of the respondents about what caused depression in females compared to males. 45.26% of respondents stated that biological, social, and environmental factors played a major role in causing depression in girls. 30.24% stated that only hormonal changes caused depression in girls, while 24.50% of respondents thought that social and environmental factors were major contributing factors.

Fig. 2: Cultural Norms play a role in Depression in girls

70.94% of respondents agree that cultural norms that prevent girls from expressing themselves could play a role in contributing to depression in girls whereas boys are free to express themselves. However, 29.06% of respondents disagreed with the above notion.

Fig 3: 71.52% think there is a genuine mental health issue with girls

71.52% of respondents think the rise in antidepressant use among young girls showcases a genuine increase in mental disorders in girls, while 28.48% of respondents don’t think so. 


Survey TitleSurvey on Spiked Use Of Antidepressant Among Young Girls
DurationMarch 8 – March 15, 2024
Number of Participants5,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.