The causes of teenage depression are varied. While genetics play a part in some cases of depression, most teens run into additional obstacles that can cause depression or make an existing depression worse. This occurs most often because teenagers are still learning how to cope with everyday issues and problems, finding out who they are and where they fit in the world.
Teenage depression is widespread, yet each case can be as different as night and day among the teens that experience it. Depression can occur for one teenager because she doesn’t have friends and doesn’t feel like she fits in. Another teenager can be the most popular kid in school and still experience depression perhaps because the stress of being so popular is weighing her down. In other words, teenage depression can occur with any teenager, regardless of how popular she is. It can occur regardless of how intelligent a child is or how involved in extracurricular activities she is. It can occur because of the clothing she does or doesn’t wear, it can occur because she was rejected by a boy. Likewise, a teenage boy is vulnerable to depression for similar reasons.
Some of the most common reasons for teenage depression are reasons that might astonish a parent because the reasons might appear slight to a balanced adult. But what is an ant hill to one person might be a mountain to the next, depending on life experiences that have come before the event and how those experiences have molded the person.
Peer Pressure and Stress: Peer pressure is one of the hardest obstacles to face for teenagers. Everyone wants to fit in and when they don’t for whatever reason the rejection can be devastating. Stress can occur in a variety of ways and from directions no one expected. Don’t add extra stress to a teenager who is already showing signs of stress. Some forms of stress come from school, such as homework, the need to fit in and the need to find someone to date.
Boyfriend/Girlfriend Issues: Dating issues are high on the list of causes for teenage depression. Rejection by a member of the opposite sex can be a horrific letdown for a teenager.
Disturbing Event: A disturbing event could be a death in the family or of another loved one. Other examples of disturbing events include drive-by shootings, school shootings, bombardment with horrific world events from the media, the death of a pet, being involved in an accident or even witnessing an accident or death.
Feelings Of Failure: This type of issue can be hard on teenagers who are constantly being subjected to school tests and sports events. If they don’t do well on a test or perform as well as they, their peers, teachers, coaches and parents believe they should have, it can cause feelings of failure that can manifest into depression.
Divorce Or Separation: When a teenager comes from a broken home, their chances of falling into some type of depression is greater than for teens who hail from happy homes with two parents. At the same time, there have also been cases of children who become depressed because they feel guilty because they don’t come from a broken home but their friends do. This type of guilt can also bring on a huge sense of depression.
Learning To Spot The Causes
While it is not easy to spot the causes of teenage depression, it is wise to keep a steady lookout for symptoms that might indicate a problem is brewing. Teenagers tend to keep a lot of information to themselves. They don’t often understand what’s going on inside their own heads and bodies, and that can be frightening. When they become frightened, they may clam up and not speak to their parents or to their friends.
Because adult issues seem so much more demanding than issues a teenager might face, parents tend to blow off their kids’ issues as nothing to be concerned about. But, when a parent takes into consideration the life experiences of a teen and then balances it against the life experiences of an adult, it becomes evident that the issues of a teenager are just as heavy to the teen as the issues of an adult are to the adult. If a parent acknowledges that their child’s issues are as great as their own issues, it is much easier to recognize when a child is under too much stress or is bordering on depression.
For instance, if your child’s personality changes even slightly you should recognize it as a sign that something is going on. If that something is out of the norm, a watchful parent probably will begin to see a pattern develop. Patterns that point to depression should be addressed immediately with a trained professional in the medical field. While no one can be sure which forms of depression will morph into dangerous medical conditions if not taken care of, and which forms of depression disappear without help, it’s best not to second-guess the situation. Don’t take chances with your child’s wellbeing. If an issue arises with your teenager or with a teenager you know, it’s your responsibility to seek help.