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How To Know If Your Teen Is Depressed

Growing up comes with many challenges, especially in the teenage years, as hormones change and social experiences become more and more complex. Unfortunately, some teens may develop mental health problems or disorders, such as depression.

What percent of teens are depressed?

Depression is increasingly prevalent among teenagers, especially girls. Pew Research Center reports that “In 2017, 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said they had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, up from 8% (or 2 million) in 2007.”

For teenage girls specifically, one in five (almost 2.4 million) “experienced at least one major depressive episode.”

What are symptoms of depression in a teenager?

There are a variety of symptoms teenagers exhibit while experiencing depression, differing from person to person.


It is difficult for those around someone who is depressed to visibly see all their symptoms as much of it is emotional, but these emotions are expressed in various ways you might consider keeping an eye out for if you think your teen might be struggling with it:

  • Sadness or periods of crying that seem without cause
  • Frustration or anger over things that seem insignificant
  • Hopelessness or “emptiness”
  • Irritability
  • Lack of interest in engaging in normal activities
  • Lack of interest or conflict in relationships (family or friends)
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Fixations on failures or sources of guilt
  • Sensitivity to rejection, critique, or failure
  • Cognitive troubles or difficulties (lack of concentration)
  • Increasing thoughts about death or suicide


Here are more obvious outward actions and behaviors that may be signs that your teen is experiencing a depressive episode:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping too much
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Substance abuse (drugs or alcohol)
  • Pacing, handwringing, fidgety, inability to sit still
  • Sluggish thinking or movement
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Avoidance of social situations and interactions
  • Poor academic performance and attendance
  • Poor hygiene
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Increased risk-taking
  • Self-harm

What is the main cause of depression among the youth?

There is no known single cause that depression can be reduced to among anyone, including teenagers. There are too many variables and factors involved that contribute to negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, such as genres, hormones, and circumstances or environment. It may be the case that some teens are biologically predisposed to it more than others, that some temperaments are inclined to depressive episodes, and that a family history of depression can have a major impact on their own mental health.

How to improve teenage mental health?

At Fifth Avenue Psychiatry, we provide teenagers with the privacy, peace, and treatment they need to recover from depression and improve their mental health.

We are a team of highly trained Psychologists and Psychiatrists who use evidence-based clinical treatments and therapies for all sorts of conditions, including addiction and mental health disorders such as:

Call us, and we can design a treatment program personalized to your teen.

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