Causes of Teen Depression
Depression is common in teenagers who are also dealing with substance abuse. This includes alcohol abuse, cocaine abuse, and stimulant withdrawal.
Certain Medical Conditions
Roughly two-thirds of children and adolescents with major depression (also known as clinical depression or just depression) also have another mental disorder. The most commonly associated conditions are:
- Dysthymia, which is a less severe but more long-term type of depression
- Anxiety disorder
- Disruptive or antisocial disorder
- Substance abuse disorder.
When more than one diagnosis is present, depression is more likely to begin after the other condition is diagnosed, except in cases in which that other condition is substance abuse. This suggests that, in some cases, depression may arise in response to the other condition.
In other situations, the two conditions may arise independently in response to inadequate maternal supervision and control, which is the case when conduct disorder and depression occur together. This suggests that parental behavior could potentially be a risk factor for both conditions.
Other medical conditions that increase the risk of developing teen depression can include:
Teenage girls are more likely to suffer from depression than are teenage boys. One reason for this may be that teenage girls are more socially oriented, more dependent on positive social relationships, and more vulnerable to losses of social relationships than are boys. This would increase their vulnerability to the interpersonal stresses that are common in teenagers.
There is also evidence that the methods girls use to cope with stress may entail less denial and more focused and repetitive thinking about the event. The higher occurrence of depression in teenage girls, therefore, could be a result of greater vulnerability, combined with coping mechanisms that are different than those of boys.