Causes of Teen DepressionThe teen years offer new experiences and challenges that can be exciting, as well as stressful. The stress of adolescence is one of many factors that can make young people unhappy. Teenagers are also experiencing hormonal changes that can affect their mood.
Some sadness and mood swings are a normal part of life. But when the "blues" last for weeks -- or interfere with school, home, or other activities -- your teen may be suffering from clinical depression.
Similar to depression in adults, scientists do not know the specific cause or causes of teen depression. They do believe that the onset of depression is frequently caused by a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. In other words, there is no single cause. They also know a number of factors that increase a teenager's chance of developing it.
Some risk factors for teen depression include:
- A family history of depression (particularly if a parent had it at an early age)
A history of substance abuse
- Certain medical conditions, such as ADHD (see ADHD and Depression)
- Certain types of personalities
- Environmental factors
- Stressful life events.
(Click Causes of Teen Depression for more information on these risk factors.)
Types of Depression in TeensThere are a couple of different types of depression that a person can experience. Several of these start during the teenage years. The most frequently diagnosed types of depression in teens include:
- Major depression
- Bipolar disorder.
Another type of depression is known as reactive depression. This article is focusing on major depression (also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder).