Teenage Depression: Statistics, Facts & Signs

Instructor: Quentin Shires

Quentin has taught psychology and other social science classes at the university level and is considered a doctoral colleague at Capella University.

In this lesson, discover important statistics and facts regarding teenage depression. Afterwards, identify different warning signs that can point towards your teen having a depressive disorder.

What is Depression?

Clinical depression is a medical condition that presents with intense feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. It is typically normal to experience these feelings for short periods of time in our lives, as we tend to react to situations such as loss, life struggles, and injured self-esteem. However, when these feelings last for many days to even weeks, and you find it hard to function normally in life, you may need to seek help. The good news is that clinical depression is treatable through psychotherapy and antidepressants.

Teenage depression can be hard to spot, especially when they are experiencing hormonal and other body changes

Teenagers and Depression

Teenage depression is real and important to keep an eye on; however, understanding different statistics, facts, and warning signs will help ensure that you can spot depressive symptoms. Don't forget that teenage years are full of hormones, drama, and other bodily changes, so be sure to keep that in the back of your mind when screening for depressive symptoms. Experts have researched the effects that depression has on teenagers and have come up with some very interesting and important statistics and facts.

Important Statistics and Facts

One out of every eight teenagers experiences depression, with 30 percent of those individuals moving on to abuse alcohol and drugs. If left untreated, teenagers will experience struggles in different parts of their lives, such as school and work performance, and relationships with others. The most important statistic to keep in mind is that untreated depression in teens is the number one cause of suicide, which in turn is the third leading cause of death among adolescents.

Warning Signs of Depression in Teenagers

It is crucial for adults to be aware of the warning signs of depression in teenagers, as there is often a reliance from a teen on an adult to help them when they are suffering. It can appear that recognizing depression in teens may be easy; however, symptoms may be difficult to spot due to other hormonal, mood, and body changes that occur during adolescence.

Other than typical hopelessness and sadness that comes along with teenage depression, it is important to look beyond their current mood and determine if they are experiencing any of the following: withdrawal from friends and family, loss of interest in activities, a decrease in school performance and a drop in grades, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death and suicide.

My Teen is Depressed - What now?

Communicate with your teen in an open way if you recognize any of the symptoms of depression, and let them know that they can talk to you without any judgment. When discussing depression be gentle and persistent, as your teen may shut you out at first and not want to talk about their feelings. Let them know that you acknowledge their feelings, and most importantly, don't lecture them!

As a concerned parent, always remember to trust your gut! If your teen is not opening up to you, perhaps get a third party to help you, such as a school counselor, psychotherapist, or psychiatrist. The main goal is to get your teen talking to someone, even if it is not you!

Once your teen is talking about their feelings, it is okay to think of other ways to get your child active. Suggest physical activities, volunteering opportunities, and even a healthy diet. Stay active with your teen, as this will promote open communication.

Lesson Summary

Clinical depression is a medical condition that presents with intense feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. Teenage depression is also real and important to keep an eye on; however, understanding different statistics, facts, and warning signs will help ensure that you can spot depressive symptoms.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support