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How to Spot Teenage Depression

Updated on February 25, 2013

Twenty percent of teenagers will have lived with depression before they reach adulthood. Five percent of teenagers will go through a major depression phase. They are also twice more likely to show signs and symptoms of depression than the general population. Depression may affect teenagers despite socio-economic background, race, school achievements or grades. Although girls are more likely to show signs and symptoms of depression than boys, this may be due to fact that boys will try very hard to mask or hide behavioral patterns associated with teenage depression because of the social and cultural expectations of boys’ verses girls.

Within the school environment of teenagers, the stress factors are indeed very high. Teens are in their social transitional phase from being kids to adults. Forming social bonds are very critical for teens. One of the most popular causes of depression is not being able to fit into a particular social circle. Another one of the causes of depression is not being able to maintain a high grade level. There are a number of other reasons. Living with depression normally starts off with failed expectations, hence triggering the emotion of sadness first.

There are however some other risk factors that is associated with teenage depression such as a family history of depression, mental disorders, physical disability, anti-social behavior, drug addiction and previous episodes of depressions. These risk factors may also be causes of depression or may be a result of living with depression. There may also be a lost of a love one or a recent major injury that could trigger the onset of depression.

There are four types of teenage depression to look out for:

  • Reactive Depression: This is the most common type that affects teens. It is also the most mild. This is a result of teens having to deal with difficult circumstances or environments.
  • Bipolar Disorder: This is also called manic depression. This is very rare in teens and is normally found in adults. However, it is common in adults that were living with depression during their teenage years.
  • Dysthymic Disorder: Also referred to as dysthymia. This a mild form of depression that is characterized by a long duration of years. The average term being four years.
  • Major Depressiive Disorder: This is the most serious type to affect teenagers. The signs and symptoms of this type of depression are emphasized and distinct.

Teenage depression is normally easier to identify than adult depression. This may be due to the fact that it is difficult for a teen to isolate themselves from school or home. Friends at school or family members will often spot changes in emotions. Here are 10 of the most popular signs and symptoms of teenagers living with depression to look for:

  • Talking about suicide
  • Irritable mood
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • No longer enjoys certain activities
  • Expressing negative feelings such as guilt or worthlessness
  • Sudden outbursts of crying
  • Complains of physical ailments or sickness
  • Drop in grades
  • Reckless or risky behavior
  • Decreased energy or will power

If a teenager shows 5 out of 10 of these signs and symptoms, then it is a clear indication that they may be living with teenage depression. However, the duration and intensity of these signs and symptoms of depression must also be taken into consideration. There is no need to panic if you or someone you know suffers from this temporary setback. Depression is easily cured with love and attention. Giving the afflicted person time and space to heal will also help.


More Articles About Living With Depression:

· What Suicidal Risk Factors to Look for in Those Living With Depression: This is basically a guide in assisting those that are living with depression and may be thinking about suicide.

· Foods that can cause Depressions: Discusses the negative impact that processed foods can have on someone living with depression.

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    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 6 years ago from Jamaica

      experiencetoknow, you are already helping a lot, by just talking. keep trying.

    • profile image

      ExperienceToKnow 6 years ago

      I already know this by experience, and all of this is very well researched and correct... Those last two lines spoke to me so much...My friend is starting to act the way I did and I am afraid that she will do something regretable...yet I don't know how to confront her about it...if only she'd opened up to me, I would help her no matter the time or place, just like she once did for me...but I am getting off topic here, so I apologize. Another useful and interesting hub.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 6 years ago from Jamaica

      thanks for the feedback. I think i am gonna do some more hubs about depression next week or so. lots of respect.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

      This is such an important topic. Adults (parents, teachers, etc.) being able to identify teenage depression is a critical skill to have, because unless kids don't somehow get over the depression on their own, many will begin to self-medicate, which I fear, is how a lot of drug abuse begins. Voting up and interesting.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Informative and important. Thank you for sharing.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Rasta, what a useful and interesting hub. I will share it with my followers.