What Are the Symptoms and Risk Factors of Teen Depression?

Q:
What are the symptoms and risk factors of teen depression?

A:
Symptoms
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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