Mental Health America
sky   In Crisis?
  24 Hour Crisis
  & Suicide Hotline
  (317) 251-7575 or
  (800) 273-TALK

Print Version Increase Font Size Decrease Text Size

Teenage Depression

Reasons for teen depression may vary from person to person. Genetics, environment, medical conditions, trauma, and stress can all play a role in the reasons for teen depression. Teenage years are full of changes mixed with excitement, independence, craziness, adventure, laughter, learning and fun! Why then, do some teenagers experience depression? Depression is a rising epidemic in society affecting 4 out of 100 teenagers each year. It can be a real challenge and heartache to see a once vibrant teen slip into the realms of sadness and gloom. Emotional experiences are a normal part of growing up and are useful for learning and growth, but may also have the ability to cause prolonged sadness and sorrow. Several factors that may lead to this serious illness of depression could be genetics or family history, environment, medical or physical conditions and trauma or stress from life's events.

Genetics and a family history of depression have been linked to causes of depression. If there is a history of depression in families, they may share the same genes linked to depression. Chemical imbalances may be inherited giving insight to a teen's behavior knowing the family history. Physicians will evaluate a teen's family history when screening for probability of depression. Teens with a history of family depression are more prone to have depressed symptoms: however, not all teens with a family history will inherit this illness.

An unhappy family life full of negative feedback attacks the teen's outlook on life and the way they feel about themselves. Over time the lack of self esteem can lead them to the paths of depression feeling hopeless and that of a failure. Sometimes a teen with low self esteem can fall to the prey of substance abuse to escape their stressful environment or in some cases teens that abuse drugs and alcohol bring on the depression because of the substances they are taking have the ability to alter chemicals within the brain affecting mood changes. Either way, substance abuse is a battle towards the victory of self esteem and control. What can a teen do to ward off depression?

  • Focus on the positive. Look for good things in life.
  • Talk about your feelings with your friends, family or a therapist.
  • Eat three meals a day. Ask friends to have meals with you.
  • Make sure you get plenty of sleep.
  • Try to look your best. You will feel better about yourself.
  • Stay away from alcohol and other drugs. They will just make depression worse.
  • Remember, try for progress, not perfection. None of us takes perfect care of ourselves.
  • Stay active. Exercise, walk , dance or play a sport. Even a little exercise can help lift your mood.
  • Talk, laugh, joke, and play. Good feelings often follow good times.

For more information about depression you can check out our website at

Contact Us

Laura Stahl
P.O. Box 51
Seymour, IN 47274
Phone: (812) 522-3480
Fax: (812) 524-8176