Teen Depression Guide – A Self Help Guide to Teenage Depression for Teens


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

Teen Depression Guide

Complete guide and resources on teenage depression – easy sections for teens and youths and more comprehensive resources for parents and educators. This guide is suitable for everyone, with checklists, tools and advice on teen depression and related teen depression treatment.


The term “depression” is often used as a way to express feelings of sadness and having a low mood. Depression can range from mild and temporary low episodes of moodiness to prolonged periods of extreme depression. Teen depression discussed in this guide refers to the latter, where a teen may be at risk of, or has been diagnosed with, severe depression, otherwise known as having a depressive disorder (1).

Depressive disorders – terms used

Under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association 5th Edition (2), various categories of depression disorders are grouped together including:

  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder
  • Depressive Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition
  • Other Specified Depressive Disorder
  • Unspecified Depressive Disorder
  • Specifiers for Depressive Disorders

A teen must meet the symptom criteria for a depressive disorder in order to be diagnosed as having teenage depression. This DSM-5 is an authoritative manual used by mental health providers to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

Atypical depression

A teen may appear to have all signs and symptoms of depression but yet, their mood may be brightened as a response to some positive event, and they appear to start recovering (3). If mood swings like these occur over a period of time, the teen may still be diagnosed with a depressive disorder or a related disorder such as bipolar disorder.

⇒ Next: Teen Depression Guide Chapter 1: Teen Depression Overview

  1. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D., Depression (major depressive disorder), Mayo Clinic, <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/clinical-depression/faq-20057770>
  2. American Psychiatric Association, Depressive Disorders, DSM Library, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, <https://dsm.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.dsm04>
  3. Mayo Clinic Staff, Atypical Depression, Mayo Clinic, <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atypical-depression/basics/definition/con-20035114>

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