11 Reasons for Teenage Depression: Causes, Symptoms, And Diagnosis

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, and feelings. Depression affects people of all ages, including teenagers. According to studies, depression among teenagers is very common and every fifth teenager is suffering from depression. However, almost 70% of the teenagers who are struggling with depression are not getting the right help and treatment. When teen depression is left untreated, the consequences can be very dangerous.

What are the symptoms of teenage depression?

The most common symptom of depression is sadness that is present most of the time. Depressed teenagers have signs of extreme nervousness and anxiety, and often complain of physical symptoms such as stomach aches or headaches. These symptoms can lead to frequent absence from school or poor grades. Teens suffering from depression are prone to excessive behavior, poor sleep, and changes in diet. They will become very sensitive and particularly vulnerable to failure. Such children will lose motivation and interest in everything.

However, depression in adolescence may be difficult to spot because irritability, antisocial behavior, and withdrawal usually go hand in hand with growing up.

Other important depression symptoms include:

  • a sense of helplessness
  • irritability
  • apathy
  • frustration
  • anti-social behavior
  • lack of self-esteem
  • a sense of worthlessness
  • changes in diet
  • poor sleep
  • concentrating problems
  • weight changes
  • abuse of drugs or other substances
  • rejection of authority
  • suicidal thoughts or actions
  • crying for no apparent reason
  • loss of interest in daily activities
  • extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • fatigue
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Adolescence can be very difficult and turbulent time and depression strikes many teenagers. Teenagers who suffer from depression are much more likely to attempt suicide, so it is essential for parents to known how to spot the first signs of teen depression and know what causes this disorder.

Here is the list of some of the 11 most common reasons for teen depression!

Social rejection

Popularity is very important to most teenagers, and a lack of popularity can be very upsetting for them. Teens who are socially rejected by their peers are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, which are two of the most common mental health concerns in teenagers. Adolescence is the time of uncertainty in which social acceptance plays an important role in the teen’s self-image. On the other hand, teenagers who are well accepted by their peers will develop healthier self-esteems than those who are excluded from social groups.

Academic stress

Depression can cause concentration difficulties, lack of interest and low energy, which can lead to poor attendance and drop in grades in students. Teenagers are under huge pressure to succeed academically, and stressing over their grades and exams can often result in depression.

Chemical Imbalance

Many teenagers who experience depression do not have any of the warning symptoms typically associated with it. So, it is possible for teenagers to suffer from depression even if they are generally cheerful and healthy kids. Depression is often the result of the imbalance of neurochemicals in the brain. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that play a huge role in depression, so when these chemicals are out of balance, it may lead to depression.

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Early childhood trauma

Traumatic events during childhood, such as the death of a loved one, emotional or physical abuse, or the loss of a parent, can cause changes in the brain that make a person more prone to depression or anxiety.

Learned patterns of negative thinking

The feeling of helplessness is closely related to depression and can make the existing condition even more difficult. Teen depression is often linked to the feeling of helplessness and powerlessness, rather than learning to feel capable of finding solutions to life’s problems.

Low Self-Esteem

As we mentioned before, adolescence is very turbulent period. Anything from a changing body to the appearance of pimples can negatively affect the level of self-confidence in teenagers. When their self-esteem level drops below a certain point, many teenagers will become depressed. It is important for parents to be able to spot the difference between the normal feelings of awkwardness and really low self-esteem.


Bullying is also one of the biggest causes of depression in teens. Bullies are often insecure kids themselves, and many of them are suffering from teen depression as well. Some teenagers are more at risk of being bullied than others, such as teenagers with special needs or LGBT teenagers.

Divorcing Parents

Although divorced parents might be more common for today’s teenagers, that doesn’t mean that the situation doesn’t affect them emotionally. The divorce of the parents can be very upsetting for teenagers and often causes depression.

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Inherited Traits

Some teenagers are genetically predisposed to suffer from depression. Studies have shown that depression is more common in people whose parents or close relatives also have the condition.

Family Financial Struggles

Teenagers are also affected by the bad financial situation within the family. Knowing that money is really tight can be very upsetting and frustrating for teenagers, especially if they are worried about the possibility of losing the standard of living they are accustomed to.

Physical or Emotional Neglect

Although teenagers seem like independent beings who don’t want anything from their parents, they still have physical and emotional needs for attention.The lack of parental attention can often lead to depression.

After noticing some of the signs of depression in your teenager, understanding the root of their depression can help to make the situation more manageable for everyone. Once you know the major causes and most common signs of teen depression, you can seek the right treatment for your teenager.