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Guide To Teen Depression

Adolescence, our so-called “teenage years,” bring many changes. We, humans, not only go through physical but also mental and social changes. These changes bring about emotional ups and downs. Some of us struggle to process these changes during our teens when everything is happening all at once.

But if this emotional whirlwind and the overwhelming sadness has been sticking with you for a long time, talking to a trusted adult will be of help.

What is Depression?

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a serious medical illness that targets how someone feels, thinks, and acts. It is more than just a feeling of sadness. To some teens, the lows are not just a temporary feeling but a sign of depression. Although depression can affect a person in life, symptoms may differ between teens and adults.

What Causes Depression?

It is hard to tell what exactly causes depression, but some issues may be present in a teen’s life, which include:

  • Chemical and/or hormonal imbalance

  • Inherited

  • Childhood trauma

  • A pattern of negative thinking

While some factors increase the risk of depression which may include:

  • Low self-esteem

  • Being in an abusive environment

  • Other underlying physical and mental illness

  • Substance abuse

  • Feeling different due to sexual orientation


Symptoms of depression in teens include changes in their attitude and behavior that cause distress and problems at home or school. It affects engagement with people and in other areas of their life. Usually, symptoms and their severity vary from teen to teen, but one can look out for these signs and symptoms:

  • Constant feeling of void

  • Feeling hopeless

  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless

  • Irritability

  • Withdrawing from family and friends

  • Spending more time alone

  • Drop-in grades

  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities that you used to enjoy

  • Changes in sleeping and eating pattern

  • Exhaustion

  • Cannot focus or stay still

  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering information, and making decisions

  • Unclear cause of body aches

  • Playing with the idea of harming yourself or dying

A Call for Help

If you think you are, or a dear friend, or maybe a family member is suffering from depression, know that you are not alone and that treatment is very much possible. Ask for help from an adult that you trust. If you do not feel comfortable opening up with an adult, talk to a friend. Ask someone you trust to help you set an appointment with a doctor for a proper evaluation of your situation. A doctor can assess if you have an underlying physical condition that may be affecting your mental health. Your doctor may help you walk through the possibility of seeing a mental health professional so you can be diagnosed correctly and formulate the proper treatment.

Depression is not something that you can snap out of, but fortunately, it is treatable. Take steps to control what you can. Building a resilient attitude towards issues will be a great start to cope with your situation. Reach out to friends and loved ones when things get overwhelming for you. But most of all, seek treatment and counseling as early and as quickly as possible.

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