Depression is a mental disorder that leads to a person feeling constantly sad, leading their lives to be affected in various ways. Depression in teens is fairly common, as according to the article, “Adolescent Depression in School” by Newport Academy, 16 percent of U.S. teenagers aged 12 to 17 struggle from at least one major depressive episode, and 11.5 percent of students are dealing with a major depressive disorder with serious impairment.

The Social Stigma Surrounding Depression

So many students struggle with depression and we might not even know due to them being scared to speak out due to the social stigma surrounding the topic of depression or mental health in general. The social stigma surrounding the topic of depression is quite different as it is often associated with shame, being unattractive and so many more negative stereotypes.

Because of these certain stereotypes, it can be more hard for students to speak out about their struggles with depression, as most teenagers in our society always want to be perceived as attractive to others. According to better help, 40 to 60 percent of teenagers experience negative thoughts and feelings related to their experiences. So it’s important to address to myths that surround depression in order for teenagers to feel more comfortable talking about depression and mental health in general.

What are the Symptoms and Causes of Depression in Teenagers?

The most common causes of depression in teenagers are death or a loss, struggles with sexuality or gender, genetics and bullying. However, any teenager dealing with depression can have a different cause for depression, so it’s important to understand what caused their depression and help them through it.

Teenagers going through depression often show signs of anxiety, insomnia, anger issues, social isolation, sudden change in weight and suicidal thoughts. But according to Penn High school counselor Jennifer Tiller, so many teenagers struggling with depression don’t show signs of depression and struggle in silence due to many teenagers not being aware of what depression even is.

Why is it Important to Raise Awareness about Depression in Teenagers?

“Teens suffering from depression are not their best selves at the time. This can affect them holistically. It is important for teens to focus on their foundation or everything else could be affected such as their academics, friendships, involvement in activities, attendance, and their physical health. ”

Jennifer Tiller, Penn High school counselor

Teens suffering from depression often don’t know what to do, and just suffer in silence, which can lead to a even further decline in their mental state, loss of interest in school and life, and suicide. This is why it’s important for teenagers to be aware of what depression is, how to prevent it and deal with it when they struggle with it.

Some ways to raise awareness about depression is talking about it, being aware of things that can cause depression such as bullying, and addressing the social stigma surrounding depression.

How can Teenagers Prevent Depression?

Having a good support system, exercising regularly, and having healthy coping mechanisms such as journaling or taking a walk are all good ways to prevent depression in teenagers. Teenagers have a lot going on, including school, extracurriculars and social life, so it’s crucial that they can maintain a good mental state.

If you or someone near you is showing signs of depression or actively struggling with depression, contact the numbers below for free confidential help.

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text line: text SUPPORT to 741-741