Depression in teenagers

What is depression in teenagers?

Depression in teenagers may prove to adults in the form of depressed mood, altered sense of self and activity, and usually bodily symptoms. Children may express sadness in a slightly different way than adults. This applies especially for young children. General expresses sadness children less verbally. Sadness in children may also reflect other problems such as neglect.

Manic-depressive mental disorder can occur in adolescence and is characterized by alternating lowered (depression) and raised (mania) mood.

What are the typical symptoms?

There is children's different way of expressing themselves, presenting depression differently in different ages.

Pre-School kids

Emotional disorders

Waxing aggressiveness

Waxing passivity


Behavioural problems

Instability and restlessness

Isolation Tendency

Different bodily disorders / complaints such. abdominal pains

School kids

Poor school performance / learning difficulties

Denigration of themselves



Lack of desire to usual activities, boredom

Abuse (drugs / alcohol)

School Difficulties

Sleep problems (too much / too little)

Other typical features of depression

- Depression and lack of desire, pleasure and initiative

- Negative thoughts about themselves with feelings of worthlessness / not being loved, self-blame and guilt

- Fatigue / loss of energy, appetite (or loss), sleep problems

- The death ideation and suicidal thoughts

- Other symptoms (especially in children) are anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms (obsessive thoughts or actions), concentration difficulties, school refusal, irritability, anger, bodily discomfort (especially pain in the head or stomach)

How common is depression in teenagers/ children?

The incidence of manic-depressive are poorly studied in children. For pure depression, the prevalence:

Children: 0.5-2.5%

Teens: 2-8%

Under 10 years: One's presence in girls and boys

Over 10 years: Higher incidence in girls

What causes depression in teenagers?

The reason lies in the interaction between hereditary factors, childhood environment and life experiences. It is not clear whether it is hereditary or environmental factors that matter most. Children are at increased risk if there is a depressive disorder in parents or close relatives, family problems and high levels of negative life events.

The diagnosis of depression is difficult to make in children, and will often require assessment and treatment of child and adolescent psychiatrist.

How to prevent the depression in teenagers?


Prevent suicide and reduce suicide risk

Better Depression

Reduce loads and possible external factors that can cause depression

Give help to endure the current life situation

Various forms of treatment

Family work - either in the form of family therapy or parenting advice

Support Conversations with teenagers with regular and thorough follow-up

Cooperation with school

Cooperation with social services needed by lack of care from home

Medical treatment

General medicine seems to have less effect among children and teenagers than among adults. There are conflicting findings from scientific studies, also in terms of the newer antidepressants - the so-called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In general, there should not be initiated medical treatment without consulting your child and adolescent psychiatry specialist.

If psychological treatment or social measures do not help, who in moderate and severe depression with poorly functioning or suicide risk, treated with antidepressants. The children should be referred to child adolescent psychiatrist and possible. admitted if there are signs of suicide risk. At the start of medical treatment, child or young person followed regularly and thoroughly, so the psychiatrist can evaluate possible. newcomers thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior.

Tricyclic antidepressants may be considered after failure of SSRIs.

Other treatment

The child / young person should be hospitalized for severe depression, suicidal risk or mania (morbid excitement). For problems with interaction in the family and poor working family will be family treatment center.

Psychotherapy may be relevant. This involves meetings between therapist and patient, which use various techniques to uncover psychological problem areas and try to solve them. One uses including so-called cognitive behavioral therapy. Group therapy can be a good idea for young people.

Many come from their first depression. After one year, 75% out of the depression. After two years, 90% without depression. Severe depression in childhood and adolescence has a tendency to repeat itself. The risk of new depressive episode in adulthood is increased 4 times.

Read also: teenage suicidal thoughts and teenage pregnancy .