According to a new report by the ONS, 43% of young women aged between 16 and 29 experienced some form of depression between 27th January and 7th March of this year.
A considerably lower percentage of young men – 26% – said they experienced some form of depression during this period.
The ONS report also found that a much higher percentage of renters than homeowners experienced some form of depression: 31% compared to 13%. In addition, a greater proportion of disabled adults (£39%) experienced some form of depression than non-disabled adults (13%).
A previous ONS report found that members of Gen Z – especially those living in urban areas outside of London – are most likely to have experienced "lockdown loneliness".
However, the ONS also found that GPs in England diagnosed fewer cases of adult depression in 2020 than in 2019 – even though more people reported symptoms – suggesting people are wary of seeking help.
Mental health charity Mind said the new ONS report chimes with their own research, which found that 68% of young people noticed a deterioration in their mental health during the first lockdown in 2020.
"The fact that GP-diagnosed cases of adult depression have fallen during the pandemic suggests people are not going to their GP for help, perhaps because they’re concerned about placing extra pressure on the NHS," Stephen Buckley of Mind said. "This is worrying because we know that left untreated, mental health problems become more difficult and expensive to treat."
Buckley added: "If you notice changes to your thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are affecting your daily life, last longer than two weeks, or keep returning – talk to someone you trust, ideally your GP. A GP should be able to let you know if you might have a common mental health problem, like depression and anxiety, and signpost you to support."
If you are experiencing mental health problems or feel you are in crisis, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org