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Why are Teens so Depressed?

By: Leon M.

One of the major problems for teens today is depression. Teen depression is a serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It affects how teens think, feel and behaves, and it can cause emotional, functional and physical problems. Other issues such as peer pressure and stress can make a lot of teens sad and happy at strange times. But for some teens, the sad times are more than just temporary feelings — they're a symptom of depression.

Teen depression signs and symptoms include a change from the teenager's previous attitude and behavior that can cause significant distress and problems at school or home, in social activities, or in other areas of life. Be alert for emotional changes, such as:

  • Feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason

  • Frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters

  • Feeling hopeless or empty

  • Irritable or annoyed mood

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities

  • Loss of interest in, or conflict with, family and friends

  • Low self-esteem

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Fixation on past failures or exaggerated self-blame or self-criticism

  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure, and the need for excessive reassurance

  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things

  • Ongoing sense that life and the future are grim and bleak

  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide

Some causes of depression can include:

  • Bullying

Lots of bullying can be just shrugged off as "kids being kids" but bullying can seriously impact teens mental health.

  • Family conflict/Abuse

90% of American fathers and 95% of American mothers report family conflict and abuse, which can make teens stressed and feel lost which can lead to depression.

  • Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can come from many different places, school, home, with friends, etc. Schoolwork and grades can make someone feel overwhelmed and lost, they can feel socially pressured, and conflict at home can also really hurt someone's mental health.


1. What's the difference between regular sadness and depression? Everyone experiences a range of emotions over the course of days and weeks, typically varying based on events and circumstances. When disappointed, we usually feel sad. Normally these feelings ebb and flow. They respond to input and changes. By contrast, depression tends to feel heavy and constant. People who are depressed are less likely to be cheered, comforted or consoled. People who recover from depression often welcome the ability to feel normal sadness again, to have a “bad day,” as opposed to a leaden weight on their minds and souls every single day.

2. What kind of solutions are there for depression? A wide variety of treatments have been proven effective in treating depression. Some involve talking and behavioral change. Others involve taking medications. There are also techniques that focus on neuromodulation, which incorporates electrical, magnetic or other forms of energy to stimulate brain pathways.

3. What do I need to tell my doctor when dealing with depression? Total openness is important. You should talk to your doctor about all of your symptoms, important milestones in your life and any history of abuse or trauma. Also tell your doctor about past history of depression or other emotional symptoms in yourself or family members, medical history, medications you are taking — prescribed or over-the-counter, how depression has affected your daily life and whether you ever think about suicide.



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