Depression in Adolescents

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Depressionin Adolescents

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Depressionin Adolescents

Accordingto WHO, adolescence is the period of human growth and development,which occurs between childhood and adulthood (WHO, 2017). This stageis considered to occur at the age of ten and nineteen, and itrepresents an important transition in the life of an individual, assuggested by WHO (2017). Adolescence is often characterized as thetime in a human’s life when tremendous growth and change takesplace. Such pace in growth and change is only second to that whichhappens during infancy. Psychological changes also take part duringthis period leading to different emotional responses to the thingsthey face. When things go wrong in their lives, individuals at thisstage often overreact. Most of them feel that everything is happeningagainst their wish, and that life is full of unfairness. Depressionis a common psychological condition among the adolescents and isassociated with different symptoms and causes.


Depressionin adolescence is a serious issue in the public health sector.Studies indicate that approximately eleven percent of adolescents areat risk of experiencing depression at a particular time in during thestage. The episodes of depression are often impairing, and areassociated with multiple problems, which include psychological healthissues, substance abuse, poor family and peer relationships, schooldifficulties, anxiety, and disruptive behavior disorders (Thapar etal., 2012). Also, cases of depression are highest compared to otherpsychological disorders that affect the adolescents millions ofyoungsters are affected by depression and associated conditions, assuggested by Ferentz (2016). This condition is also associated withfatalities among this age group especially due to the development ofsuicidal thoughts, and an ultimate suicidal act. Stressful events inthe life of a youngster and chronically stressful circumstances arethe known triggers of depression among individuals at thisdevelopmental stage. Most of the adolescents fail to control theiremotions and moods towards certain events or happenings, leading todepression.

Onecan assess the pathophysiology of depression in adolescents usingthree approaches namely depressed mood, depressive syndrome, andclinical depression. These methods serve different purposes andreflect on several levels of depressive phenomena. The study ofdepressed mood among the adolescents came about due to the researchon emotional development during the stage of adolescence, as sharedby Thapar et al. (2012). This condition comes about due to recurrentepisodes of sadness and other negative emotions that are associatedwith situations such as stressful relationships (Ferentz, 2016).Clinical depression, on the other hand, assumes that the conditionincludes the presence of a recognizable syndrome of interrelatedsymptoms, which are closely linked to the substantial levels ofdistress. The depressive syndrome approach assumes that depression inadolescence is a group of behaviors and emotions that occur togetherin a pattern that that is interpretable. Such symptoms include thefeeling of being unwanted, feeling worthless, crying, wanting to beperfect, feeling lonely, having a fear of doing bad things, andfeeling guilty about the things that they involve themselves in, asshared by Thapar et al. (2012).

Thesymptoms of depression among adolescents can be noted through anassessment of the person’s behavior. In most circumstances,depression in adolescents is likely to be confused with the typicalfeelings of puberty and teenage adjustment. Teens with depression ordisorder associated with the condition express a change in behaviorand way of thinking (Thapar et al., 2012). Most of these children optto seclude themselves from the others they avoid groups and evenlock themselves up in their rooms. They often lack motivation, feelworthless, and may involve themselves in criminal or other unwantedbehaviors. It is often easy to note some of these changes inbehavior. Teen depression can be hereditary with most findingsreporting the presence of the condition in the family history.

Thecauses of depression among the young people in the adolescent stageare varied. These causes are not specific and may vary from differentindividuals. During a psychological assessment, the causes are alwaysstudied basing on the presentation of the condition in a particularpatient. The general causes are grouped into social andenvironmental, genetic, and biological factors, as shown by Thapar etal. (2012). One of these factors or a combination of any three maytrigger the condition. Depression in adolescents and other stages oflife is known to have a genetic component. Biological changesregarding hormonal secretions during the adolescent stage is alsoknown to alter an individual’s mood and reaction towards certainsituations hence contributing to cases of depression (Ferentz, 2016).The social and environmental factors are known to be the leadingfactors of depression in adolescence since things like relationshipscontribute much to the emotional changes of young people.

Differenttreatment approaches are undertaken in cases of depression among theadolescents. Just like other psychological conditions, depression inindividuals of this group is mostly treated using differentpsychotherapy approaches. One of the widely used treatment is thecognitive-behavior therapy, which aims at modifying the person’sbehavior and way of thinking by decreasing the negative aspects andpromoting the positive ones (Ferentz, 2016). The approach targets ondeleting the schemas and leading to a discovery of new patterns ofaction and conduct. Other psychotherapeutic approaches includeinterpersonal therapy and attention intervention. Also, thesepsychotherapeutic approaches can be combined with the use of drugssuch as antidepressants.


Depressionamong adolescents is a common psychological disorder. The disorder isoften associated with the changes that take place in thedevelopmental stage that takes place between the ages of ten andnineteen. A significant percentage of individuals in the adolescentstage are likely to develop depression. This condition may havediverse effects on the life of the teen including poorrelationships, difficulties in school, anxiety, and more severe casessuch as suicide. The condition can be treated using psychotherapeuticapproaches and drugs such as antidepressants.


Ferentz,L. (2016, January). Adolescents and Depression – Part 1. RetrievedMarch 14, 2017, from

Thapar,A., Collishaw, S., Pine, D. S., &amp Thapar, A. K. (2012, March 17).Depression in adolescence. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from

WHO(2017). Adolescent development. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from