Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What is depression?
is a real illness, with real causes, and real
symptoms to help you recognize it. Since we’re
all different, symptoms may vary widely from person
to person. Not everyone will have all of the symptoms,
not everyone will have the same symptoms. But
the symptoms usually affect your daily functioning,
and the symptoms persist.
2) Is My Teen Depressed?
your teen is sleeping too much, eating too little,
or showing other possible signs of depression,
you may be wondering, "Is my teen depressed?"
If your teen is depressed, there are a number
of things you can do to help. Among other things,
you can talk with other families in your community;
find family network organizations; and get accurate
information from the Internet, library, hotlines,
or other sources. The first step in helping your
teen is to have a talk with him or her if you
notice behavioral changes or other possible signs
3) What causes teenage depression?
can be caused by any single or combination of
biological, psychological and social factors.
Biological factors that play a role in depression
include school bullying, hormonal imbalances,
environmental stresses, genetic factors improper
diet, and even certain medications. Psychological
causes involve elements that predispose people
to become depressed as a result of their unhealthy
self-esteem and negative attitude towards others,
the world around them, and the future. Pressures
in life are also often at the root of depression
problems, among them failure, frustration, and
experiences of loss (death of a loved one, divorce,
relocation, break-up with steady girl/boyfriend,
What are the Symptoms of Teen Depression?
teens will display a striking change in their
thinking and behavior, lose their motivation,
or become withdrawn. The following are the major
signs of depression in adolescents.
feelings of sadness or feeling down more often
changes in appetite or weight.
disturbances: insomnia or oversleeping.
anger, worry, agitation, anxiety.
of worthlessness, pessimism or uncaring.
body aches or pains.
to accomplish work or tasks.
loss or inability to concentrate.
of interest in pleasurable activities.
of stress, heart racing or pounding.
Why do people get depressed?
people get seriously depressed after something
like a divorce in the family, major financial
problems, someone you love dying, a messed up
home life, or breaking up with a boyfriend or
girlfriend. Other times, depression just happens.
Often teenagers react to the pain of depression
by getting into trouble: trouble with alcohol,
drugs, or sex; trouble with school or bad grades;
problems with family or friends. This is another
reason why it's important to get treatment for
depression before it leads to other trouble.
What is teenage depression like and when should
parents be concerned?
it is normal for everyone, not just teenagers,
to feel the ‘blues’ occasionally,
depression becomes an illness when the feelings
of dejection, hopelessness, and despair persist
and interfere with a person’s ability to
function. Depression is often accompanied by feelings
of helplessness, being overwhelmed by circumstances,
withdrawal and isolation. People suffering from
depression are often prone to lethargy, overeating
or loss of appetite, worry, moodiness, withdrawal
from family and friends, and lapse into inactivity.
How can depression affect my teen’s life?
effects of depression can seriously affect every
aspect of a teenager’s life. Feelings of
happiness, contentment, enthusiasm, and pleasure
are diminished. Activities once enjoyed are no
longer of interest, and many people with symptoms
of depression experience fatigue and listlessness.
Work, school, and other activities that require
concentration become extremely difficult. Even
love, an emotion of pleasure, becomes difficult
to feel when symptoms of depression are being
experienced. In the extreme, it can lead to poor
school performance, truancy, running away, substance
abuse, and even suicide, all of which will have
a lasting affect on your teen’s life well
teenagers with depression describe a feeling of
separation from themselves. This isolation impacts
relationships with friends and loved ones. Until
the symptoms of depression are treated, depression
negatively alters life and makes it extremely
difficult for those suffering from it.
extreme cases, depression can even lead to suicide.
If you or someone you know has expressed any desire
to harm themselves, please seek help immediately.
Can Teenage Depression be treated?
It is extremely important to understand that depression
is a common emotional disturbance that can be
treated. Depression is not a normal part of life,
and the symptoms should not be ignored—they
should be treated. The good news -- you can get
treatment and feel better.
How can depression affect my teen's life?
effects of depression can seriously affect every
aspect of the teenage years. Feelings of happiness,
contentment, enthusiasm, and pleasure are diminished.
Socializing becomes a bore or extremely uncomfortable,
making it difficult for them to enjoy the normal
activities associated with adolescence. Work,
school, and other activities that require concentration
become extremely difficult. Even love, an emotion
of pleasure, becomes difficult to feel when symptoms
of depression are being experienced. In the extreme,
it can lead to poor school performance, truancy,
running away, substance abuse, and even suicide,
all of which will have a lasting affect on your
teen’s life well into adulthood.
teenagers with depression describe a feeling of
separation from themselves. They view their life
from the outside, like watching a movie. This
isolation impacts relationships with friends and
loved ones. Until the symptoms of depression are
treated, depression negatively alters life and
makes it extremely difficult for those suffering
Does Teenage Depression Come Back?
teenagers with depression experience a recurrence
at some point in their lives. Twenty percent to
Forty percent of depressed teenagers relapse within
two years, and 70 percent will do so by adulthood.
The reasons for relapse are not known, but there
is some evidence that experiencing a depression
leaves behind psychological "scars"
that may increase vulnerability throughout early
age of first onset of depression appears to play
a role in its course. Children who first become
depressed before puberty are at risk of some form
of mental disorder in adulthood, while teenagers
who first become depressed after puberty are most
likely to experience another episode of depression.
different outcomes with depression before and
after puberty suggest that different mechanisms
may lead to superficially similar, but inherently
different, clinical conditions. Some factors that
can worsen the prognosis for depressed children
and adolescents include:
- Depression occurring in the context of conduct disorder.
- Living in conflict-ridden families.
and particularly adolescents, who suffer from
depression, are at a much greater risk of committing
suicide than are children without depression.
Are These Teen Depression Symptoms -- or a Normal
Part of Growing Up?
are a number of questions you should ask yourself
when trying to figure out whether your teenager
has depression symptoms, or is simply going through
a normal part of development. Some of these questions
is going on in his or her life to make him
or her feel this way? Think about past and
did this crying begin? Did it coincide with
family tension, or the divorce, or problems
is he or she getting along with friends?
are things in your family, now?
there any other problems or symptoms?
answers to these questions provide clues about
what is wrong and how to help your teenager.
Why Teenage Depression is often misdiagnosed?
depression is often confused with normal kid’s
behavior or even ‘misbehavior.’ Let’s
face it, sometimes kids do dumb, impulsive or
irrational things. A lot of times they get angry
and are defiant with their parents or authority
figures. And unfortunately, sometimes even their
doctor will miss depression signs and treat them
for Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) General
Anxiety Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactive
Disorder. (It’s important to note that most
teenagers who suffer from depression also suffer
from ODD or another similar disorder.) However,
if a teen is angry or shows unusual behavior for
more than a couple of weeks, he or she should
talk with a doctor.
What should I do if I think my teen’s is
you suspect that a teenager in your life is suffering
from depression, take action right away. Depression
is very damaging when left untreated, so don’t
wait and hope that the symptoms will go away by
itself. Even if you’re unsure that depression
is the issue, the troublesome behaviors and emotions
you’re seeing in your teenager are signs
of a problem. Whether or not that problem turns
out to be depression, it still needs to be addressed—the
sooner the better.
How common is depression in teenagers?
a national study conducted by the Centers for
Disease Control, 61 percent of 8th to 10th graders
reported feeling sad and hopeless, 36 percent
reported nothing to look forward to, and 34 percent
expressed serious thoughts of committing suicide.
the very real threat during the teen years, many
families do not like to talk about depression
or suicide with their children. In fact, many
believe that discussing this problem makes depression
and suicide more likely to happen.
reality, talking to teens about their feelings
may make them feel less hopeless and sad. If your
teen is exhibiting one or more of the warning
signs, you may also want to seek further evaluation
of his behavior with a professional, such as a
psychologist, psychiatrist, or pediatrician.
Are antidepressants addictive?
Doctor-prescribed antidepressants are neither
addictive nor habit forming. They do not cause
an emotional high or numbness. Antidepressant
medications repair brain chemistry so the brain
can function normally.
How many American teenagers are clinically depressed?
is estimated that five percent of all teenagers
will suffer from major depression. Unfortunately,
only 20 percent of these teenagers will be diagnosed
and even fewer will receive proper treatment.
How common is bullying?
30 percent of teens in the United States (or over
5.7 million) are estimated to be involved in bullying
as either a bully, a target of bullying, or both.
In a recent national survey of students in grades
6 to 10, 13 percent reported bullying others,
11 percent reported being the target of bullies,
and another 6 percent said they bullied others
and were bullied themselves.
available data suggest that bullying is much more
common among younger teens than older teens. As
teens grow older, they are less likely to bully
others and to be the targets of bullies.
occurs more frequently among boys than girls.
Teenage boys are much more likely to bully others
and to be the targets of bullies. While both boys
and girls say others bully them by making fun
of the way they look or talk, boys are more likely
to report being hit, slapped, or pushed. Teenage
girls are more often the targets of rumors and
sexual comments. While teenage boys target both
boys and girls, teenage girls most often bully
other girls, using more subtle and indirect forms
of aggression than boys. For example, instead
of physically harming others, they are more likely
to spread gossip or encourage others to reject
or exclude another girl.
What is bullying?
includes a wide variety of behaviors, but all
involve a person or a group repeatedly trying
to harm someone who is weaker or more vulnerable.
It can involve direct attacks (such as hitting,
threatening or intimidating, maliciously teasing
and taunting, name-calling, making sexual remarks,
and stealing or damaging belongings) or more subtle,
indirect attacks (such as spreading rumors or
encouraging others to reject or exclude someone).