What Are the Symptoms and Risk Factors of Teen Depression?

What are the symptoms and risk factors of teen depression?

Symptoms of teen depression include some emotional changes and behavioral changes, such as:

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Feeling hopeless or empty
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Ongoing sense that life and the future are grim and bleak
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Social isolation
  • Poor school performance or frequent absences from school
  • Self-harm — for example, cutting, burning, or excessive piercing or tattooing
  • Making a suicide plan or a suicide attempt

Risk factors
Factors increasing the risk of developing or triggering teen depression include:

  • being the victim or witness of violence, such as physical or sexual abuse
  • Ongoing pain or a chronic physical illness such as cancer, diabetes or asthma
  • A physical disability
  • Low self-esteem or being overly dependent, self-critical or pessimistic
  • Recent stressful life events, such as parental divorce, parental military service or the death of a loved one



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