Why are some teenagers more prone to depression than others?

Teen facing depression

Mental illness is often not treated seriously enough and can lead to fatal outcomes. One of the most over looked illnesses is depression. Many people, even parents of teens, mistake this for sadness or sometimes even weakness, and do not look any deeper into the issue. However, teens more than ever these days are struggling with the illness that is depression. Mental health is a real thing and there are many reasons that a young adult may develop depression.

Teenagers experience depression in a manner very similar to adults, but they may experience their emotions more intensely and with greater volatility. Feeling sadness for a short period of time about a relationship issue or a poor exam result is normal. However, being down for months at a time for no particular reason is a sign of untreated mental health issues.

Biological factors that can cause depression

As with most mental health disorders, depression in young adults does not have one single definitive cause. Teenagers who develop these illnesses tend to have a number of biological, psychological, and environmental factors that contribute to its growth.

Biologically, depression is stems from a lack of serotonin in the brain. The brain is also smaller in areas than it should be and increased in some other areas. This means that there is a method of science that can tell you if your child is more prone to becoming depressed as some stage in their teen hood. 

There is thought to be at least partially genetic reasons for the development of mental illnesses. This is because children and adolescents with a depressed parent are up to four times more likely to develop the illness themselves. There are finally some gender differences when it comes to who is more prone to mental illness. Studies have shown that females are more likely to get depression than males. This can be attributed to the differences in how girls and women are encouraged to interpret their environment and respond to it, as well as how they express themselves compared to men and boys.

Kind crying in depression

Other reasons teens may develop depression

Depression can also be developed as a reaction to environmental stresses; these can include trauma, such as verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. If a teen was abused physically or emotionally from a young age, it drastically increases their chances of developing depression in later years of their childhood.

Other external events that can affect teenagers are the death of a loved one, school problems, or being the victim of bullying or peer pressure. Furthermore, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens are at a much higher risk of acquiring depression. This is thought to be because of the bullying by peers and potential rejection by family members. Being excluded is a worry many teenagers have, especially when society seems to demand that everyone fits in and follows a trend. Being different can be confusing and scary for many young adults and can have serious effects on them.

Symptoms of depression

Some symptoms a teen may be showcasing can range from having low self-esteem, always incurring feelings of guilt, being very irritable and angry for unknown reasons, an irregular sleep or eating schedule and developing habits that insist on being alone. If you feel a loved one or a friend has been showcasing some of these symptoms, it could be time to reach out for help.

Depression is a serious illness and should not be taken lightly. Suicide is the top three causes of death for people aged 10-24, so there is no time to waste when it comes to treating mental illness.


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