Understanding teenage depression: Common causes and risk factors

Depression is a common mental illness that affects people of all ages, including adolescents. Adolescence is a time of many changes and can be a difficult time for many young people. While some teenagers may feel sad or moody on occasion, depression is a more serious and persistent condition that can have a significant impact on a teenager’s daily life and functioning. There are numerous factors that can contribute to adolescent depression. Understanding these causes can assist parents, teachers, and mental health professionals in recognising the symptoms of adolescent depression and providing appropriate support and treatment.

  • Brain chemistry: Neurotransmitters transport chemicals and signals from the brain to other parts of the body and brain. When these chemicals are out of balance or impaired, the function of nerve receptors and nervous systems changes, resulting in depression.
  • Hormones: Changes in hormone levels may trigger depression.
  • Inherited traits: Traits acquired from family members.
  • Early childhood trauma: Abuse, whether physical or emotional, or the loss of a parent, can alter the brain and increase the risk of depression.
  • Learned patterns of negative thinking: Teenage depression could be linked to learning to feel powerless rather than learning to feel capable of overcoming life’s challenges.

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