Teenage depression is a psychological and emotional condition that, from a medical standpoint, is identical to adult depression. Peer pressure, fluctuating hormone levels, and developing bodies are just a few of the social and developmental issues teenagers may face. Depression is linked to extreme levels of stress, anxiety, and suicide in the worst-case scenario. It may also have an impact on these areas of a teen’s life:
- Personal life (also known as how someone feels, thinks, or acts while they are alone themselves and away from other people)
- Family life, social life, school life, and work life
- Other issues such as social isolation may result from this.
Depression is not something that can be “snapped out of” or simply cheered up. This is a genuine medical illness that, if left untreated, can have a negative impact on a person’s life in all respects. Almost 3.2 million Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 experienced at least one severe depressive episode in 2017, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Of 12- to 17-year-olds in the US, they make up 13.3% of the population. A depressive episode was reported by females about three times more frequently than by males.
Signs and symptoms of depression in teen
It might be challenging for parents to recognize the signs of depression. Sometimes people confuse the common emotions of puberty and adolescent adjustment with depression. But boredom or a lack of interest in school aren’t the only symptoms of depression. Teen depression symptoms include the following, per the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP):
- Appearing depressed
- Angry, or tearful
- Alterations in appetite or weight
- Loss of interest in once-pleasurable activities
- Boredom is a frequent complaint
- An energy decline
- Difficulties concentrating
- Thoughts of worthlessness
- Abuse of alcohol or drugs
- Substantial modifications to sleep patterns
Some of these symptoms might not necessarily be signs of depression. Especially during growth spurts and especially if your teen participates in sports, appetite shifts are frequently natural. Yet, keeping an eye out for any changes in your teen’s conduct can enable you to assist them when they are in trouble.
Causes of teen depression
Many brain differences
The anatomical differences between adolescent and adult brains have been demonstrated by research. Hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances can also occur in adolescents who are depressed. In the brain, neurotransmitters play a significant role in the way that brain cells communicate with one another. They are critical in controlling behaviour and mood. Serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are crucial neurotransmitters for our comprehension of depression. According to the existing data, low levels of these neurotransmitters may lead to depression.