Teen Depression: Reasons for Depression in Teenagers


Last updated on February 7th, 2019 at 06:56 pm

Reasons for depression in teenagers

Reasons for depression in teenagers are varied and are not attributed to any single cause. Teen depression is usually due to a number of events, factors and causes.

Common reasons for depression in teenagers

The following biological, social and environmental reasons play a part in causing teen depression. An individual teen with depression may not be suffering from or experiencing all factors.


Scientific studies have found that teens with depression have altered brain activity and that depression may be affected by changes in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters, and changes in neuroplasticity, being changes in neural pathways and synapses of the brain.


Depression may be a hereditary condition. This means that if there is a family history of depression, the teen has a higher risk of depression.


Reasons for depression in teenagers include a gender effect. For unknown reasons, women are twice as likely as men to become depressed. This applies equally in teens in that adolescent girls are more likely to suffer from depression than adolescent boys.

Social conditions

A common factor in teen depression relates to social stress faced by the teen. Bullying, harassment and other stressful events faced in school or among peers may be reasons for depression in teenagers. Social stress includes:

  • bullying and harassment at school or outside of school;
  • inability to make friends;
  • lack of social skills; and
  • peer pressure.

Physical illness

If a teen suffers from some long term illness or disability affecting the teen’s ability to make friends or which causes social stress for the teen, the teen may be at a higher risk of teen depression.

Trauma and grief

Trauma, violence, physical or emotional or sexual abuse, are all triggers of teen depression and may be primary reasons for depression in teenagers. Grief including loss of a loved one or divorce of parents may also be triggers of teen depression.

Substance abuse and prescription drugs

Many prescription drugs can cause symptoms of teen depression while alcohol and substance abuse may worsen such symptoms.

Resource recommendations

Teen Depression Guide: Click on the links bellow for further sections of this Teen Depression Guide.

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