Adolescence is a hard stage of life. There are many facets of life weigh on a teen, and with the right amount of weight, it can bring a teen down enough to feel depressed. In fact, there seems to be a few common causes or triggers that can contribute to depression in a teen. With enough of the following factors coming together, life can become incredibly challenging for an adolescent, contributing to an experience of depression. The following are a few common contributing factors:
Family problems – It’s very common for children and adolescents to take the blame for major events that happen at home. If a parent is an addict, for example, or if parents are getting a divorce, teens might take on the blame for these experiences. Another example is when a family is struggling financially. That too can place a significant burden on a teen’s emotional and psychological life. It can indeed contribute to depression.
Trauma – Trauma is an experience in which a person feels as though their life is in danger. Being in a car accident, losing a loved one, experiencing physical or sexual abuse, and even neglect can be traumatic. If trauma goes on without being addressed, it’s very easy for a teen to begin to feel depressed. Trauma has a significant impact on a person’s psychological, emotional, and physical well being. Without addressing it, life can feel bleak and without meaning.
Social anxiety or pressure from friends – One website recently have teenagers write in what their most stressful experience is for them, and overwhelmingly, the answer was feeling like they didn’t fit in. Or feeling as though they somehow weren’t cool enough to be accepted by others. It was the social anxiety and the peer pressure from friends that created the most harm in their lives. This can most certainly contribute to depression for a teen.
Relationship concerns – Many teens enjoy the experience of relationships while they are in school. However, when a long-term relationship comes to an end, it can feel devastating for a teen. The loss of a relationship can lead to all sorts of feelings and thoughts that might in turn contribute to depression.
Stress from school – Depending on the school a teen goes to, the pressure to get good grades and complete assignments can be immense. In fact, some movies, like Dead Poets Society, have portrayed the significant amount of stress that teens have to endure. With enough stress from classes, grades, and getting into college, depression can start to set in for a teen. If you’re expected by parents and teachers to excel and you’re not, depression can easily set in.
If you or a friend are feeling depressed, especially if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, talk to an adult you trust. That might be a parent, school counselor, relative, or a mental health professional in the community. If you don’t know of someone you can talk to, look online or in the phone book for a therapist or psychologist. You can also call the National Hopeline Network for assistance. There is someone there to answer your call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.