Teen depression is a serious condition that affects emotions, thought and behaviors. Although teen depression isn't medically different from depression in adults, teenagers often have unique challenges and symptoms. Issues such as peer pressure, academic expectations and changing bodies can bring a lot of ups and downs for teens. But, for some teens, the lows are more than just temporary feelings — they're a sign of depression.
Also called major depression and major depressive disorder, teen depression isn't a weakness or something that can be overcome with willpower. Like depression in adults, teen depression is a medical condition that can have serious consequences. However, for most teens, teen depression symptoms ease with treatment such as medication and psychological counseling.
Symptoms of Depression
- Changes in eating or sleeping pattern
- Poor performance in school
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Energy loss
- Sadness or irritability
- Concentration problems
- Poor self-esteem or guilt
- Feeling edgy or slowed down
- Suicidal thoughts
These symptoms may indicate depression, particularly when they last for more than two weeks.
Treating Teenage Depression
- Psychotherapy (counseling) – provides teens an opportunity to explore events and feelings that are painful.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy – helps teens change negative patterns of thinking & behaving.
- Interpersonal therapy – focuses on how to develop healthier relationships.
- Medication – relieves some symptoms.
See below for helpful links.
MayoClinic.org - Teenage Depression
Prevention begins with parental support
National Council for Behavioral Health
Find a healthcare provider in Ohio
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Free 24/7 confidential support
National Institute of Mental Health
Transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses