What Is Teenage Depression

Several changes occur during one’s teenage years. Teenagers go through a lot of changes biologically and physically during this phase. Depression is a significant threat that hangs over a teenager as this is the age where most hormonal changes occur. Teenage depression causes constant feelings of sadness and despair. Loss of interest in activities is a warning sign of depression in youth. Depression can occur at any stage of life, but depression in youth shows different symptoms compared to adult depression. Issues like peer pressure, academic pressure, constant changes in the body, hormonal shifts and instability in mental peace can cause teenage depression.

Highs and lows are expected in life, but for some teenagers, it is more than lows; it becomes constant and repetitive over time, known as teenage depression. Teenage depression cannot be overcome by willpower; it is something that requires long-term treatment like medication or psychological treatment.


Changes in behaviour that might cause a problem in a teenagers life are straight pointers towards teenage depression. Depression can cause disruptions in social life and cause problems for a teenager that are hard to overcome. The extent may vary from person to person, but the following are some behavioural and emotional changes that may be considered signs of depression in teens.

Changes in behaviour

Several changes in behaviour occur during the teenage years. Still, the following are some behavioural changes that are not considered normal and can worsen if not taken care of at the right time.

  • Lack of energy and tiredness throughout the day
  • Lack of sleep or sleeping too much
  • Changes in food habits-eating too much and gaining weight or eating too little and loss of weight
  • Abuse of alcohol, drugs or tobacco.
  • Becoming reckless and restless- being unable to sit in a place or lacking concentration
  • Becoming slow in essential functions like thinking, talking, writing or in any other body movements
  • Frequent body and headaches
  • Social isolation-staying alone and not making any friends
  • Degradation in academic performance or lack of interest in academics and not showing up for classes
  • Less consciousness about personal appearance or hygiene.
  • Getting triggered easily- anger outbursts and reacting harshly without thinking twice
  • Inflicting self pain- cutting, burning, excessive piercing or tattooing.
  • Attempting suicide
  • Not indulging in social activities 

Emotional changes

Teenagers go around several emotional changes as there are constant hormonal and physical changes going on. The following changes in the dynamic patterns of teenagers are considered as symptoms of depression in teens.

  • Signs of extreme sadness for no reason, like crying and sobbing. 
  • Emotional outbreaks like crying or laughing too much for no reason.
  • Getting frustrated quickly and reacting over matters that have no significance.
  • Getting irritated easily and getting annoyed easily.
  • Losing the sense of interest and pleasure in usual activities
  • Having conflicts with family and friends. Losing interest in social contact.
  • Feeling guilty for no apparent reason
  • Low self-esteem
  • Being stuck up in the past and exaggerated self-doubt and self-blame
  • The constant need for approval and over-sensitivity towards failure and rejection
  • Having problems in thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things.

When to seek help from a doctor:

If the problems of lows keep increasing and interfere in their daily lives, consult a trained doctor in adolescent psychology. Depression among teenagers is common and often gets solved by a few sittings with a trained professional in psychology. Knowing when to interfere in a teen’s life is necessary; usually, parents ignore the fact that a teen is going through a rough patch and taking wrong steps, which can turn out to be disastrous. Knowing when to consult a doctor is a must for parents.

Teens and depression are a lethal pair, and if left untreated, they can lead to severe risks. Depression symptoms may not get better with time and can turn worse over time. Getting professional help at the right time can help save a life. 

If you are a teen and are suffering from the same problems or one of your friends is going through the same, consider opening up to a parent, teacher, close friend, or anyone you trust. Getting help at the right time can help you save a life.

Causes of depression among teenagers:

There is no specific reason for depression. Depression can be caused due to several reasons. Following are some reasons that can cause depression in an adolescent.

  •     Chemical imbalance in the brain: Human body uses chemical reactions to send signals from brain to body and other processes. Imbalance in chemicals can cause numerous diseases, and depression is one of them.
  •     Hormonal changes: Many hormonal changes occur during the teenage years, which can cause problems like adolescent depression and anxiety.
  •     Inherited traits: Just like physical features, mental and psychological problems can also get passed on through genes.
  •     Trauma: Traumatic experiences can leave a scar on one’s mind and can turn out to be a severe problem if not treated in time.

Prevention and Treatments:

There is no sure-shot way of preventing depression, but the following are some steps you can take to prevent your teenager from depression.

  • Get your teenager involved in social activities and encourage them to make social contact. Maintaining social connections can bring about tremendous change in the state of teenage depression.
  • Seek help when needed. Often we neglect psychological problems and think they will pass but not taking the proper steps at the right time can lead to severe problems.
  • Continue the treatment and believe in the process of healing. Professionals know their way around these problems and can help solve problems.