There are a number of possible causes of depression in teenagers. If parents and teachers remain aware of them, intervention can occur before the situation becomes debilitating for the teen and the family.
1. Self Esteem Issues
The adolescent years are times of tremendous change. Not only are their hormones running rampant, they may be embarrassed at the changes in their body, especially if much different than their peers. Be aware of any signs of being bullied or of them doing the bullying.
Pay special attention to sudden changes in your adolescent's behavior. Yes, it's normal for them to suddenly decide to say little to you. If they stop talking to their friends or begin dropping out of activities take notice. Do make it a requirement to attend family meals and other functions.
2. Learning Differences
If your child has always had problems in school or been diagnosed with a learning difficulty, be sure he or she receives the needed care and attention. Even more than in grade school, adolescents do not want to be different. Some students also feel separate from their peers if they are smarter than the average student. Be sure and give support and encouragement, but don't go overboard.
3. Family Difficulties
Don't think that problems in your relationships are not noticed by your teenager. They are affected deeply by them even if they attempt to tell you they don't care. If you are going through a divorce, or a family member has become ill or died, know that your child is probably having a difficult time, also. Find someone for him or her to speak with. They may not want to burden you further with his or her problems and be hiding their depression.
4. Relationship Problems
Adults have a tendency to minimize the break-up of relationships in <> their children. Often the comment is, "It was just puppy love" or "She's young. She'll get over it." If your child does not bounce back within a few weeks tell them she can talk to you, the school counselor or a mental health professional. Relationship problems are one of the primary causes of teenage depression.
5. Drugs and Alcohol
Sudden negative changes in behavior for no apparent reason can signal a problem with drugs or alcohol. Don't make the mistake of thinking your son or daughter would never engage in risky behavior. They're kids and yes, they certainly might. If you have suspicions of substance abuse have an honest heart-to-heart talk with them. If your doubts continue have them tested.
There can be numerous causes of depression in teenagers. As a parent or teacher you will want to be aware of the most common ones: relationships, learning difficulties, family problems, self-esteem and substance abuse. Being aware can prevent long-term problems.