Parenting

Causes of teenage depression

Teenage depression seems to be on the rise. There are many factors that contribute to this. One of them is high expectations on the parent’s part. The pressure to achieve the highest grade point average is often imposed on them. Also the pressure of feeling that if they don’t go on to college, they will be a disgrace to their family.

This often leads to depression, and that can lead to more serious consequences.  Frequent mood swings and violent outbursts, are a call for help, that unfortunately go unnoticed in most cases. If not addressed and treated, the situation often gets worse. The teenager will often strike out at others, or themselves, and the result is often suicide.

There are also other reasons for teenage depression

  • A family tragedy such as death of a parent or sibling, someone close to them. Divorce, a breakup with a boy or girlfriend, or simply moving to a new area, far from where they grew up.
  • Neglectfulness on the parent’s part, can play a role in depression
  • Sudden change in lifestyle, if they’re used to a certain way of living and there’s a sudden and drastic change, this takes a toll on some teens.
  • A sudden, more mature understanding of a past childhood trauma, for instance childhood molestation against them. Too often a child who is being molested, is often made to feel ashamed, and told that they would be in trouble if they tell. When the child becomes a teen, it often becomes a major factor when they come to realize the memory comes back to haunt them, and they’re torn between telling and not telling.
  • Depression is often genetic, in which an older family member has suffered /or is suffering from it. The teen can also be affected by it.
  • Probably the most common cause of depression is drug use. Due to the addiction, their brain chemistry is changed, which usually leads to depression.

Red flags that are important to be noticed, so that depression doesn’t lead to something worse, like the teen taking the lives of others or themselves.

A. A sudden change in attitude, or appetite

B. Body language, are they suddenly quiet, and were once outgoing, with a wonderful personality, someone who enjoyed life.

C.  Do they dwell on the negative? And perhaps talk about death, maybe watch too many sad or even violent movies.

D. How are their actions toward other people, or even animals?

E.  Most importantly, are they suddenly giving away their prized possessions? That is a major red flag. If and when this happens, this is a cry for help, and action must be taken. This often means they’re contemplating suicide.

This may be a drastic measure, and a major invasion of privacy, but if they have a journal or diary. Find a way to read it, or even copy it and put it back. The teen may hate their parent for it…but it’s not done out of nosiness, it’s done out of care and concern, for all involved.

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