Just like depression in adults, experts are not certain about the causes of teen depression. But they believe it’s caused by a combination of factors that are genetic, psychological and environmental. So when we discuss what causes teen depression, we’re actually discussing the risk factors of teen depression. The experts are not certain about the causes of teen depression like I said before, but they do believe that some factors increases a teen’s chance of having depression. The risk factors may or may not have any significance in a teen developing depression.
Causes of Teen Depression | Main Factors
Research has shown that there is a genetic link to depression. That means that a teen whose parents have an history of depression is more likely to have depression, than a teen whose parents doesn’t. And as a matter of fact, about 20-50% of the young ones who suffer from depression have a family history of depression. The risk is greater if both parents have suffered from depression, though experts do not know for sure if the reason for this is genetic or environmental. That is depressed parents creating an environment that increases the chances of the children having depression.
Teen girls are more likely to develop depression than teen boys, possibly because they are more vulnerable to emotional stresses such as boyfriend breakup, social relationship and the likes. And emotional stresses is at the root of depression.
Pessimistic Attribution Bias Personality
A person who has pessimistic attribution bias personality is someone who always blame him or herself whenever something bad or negative happens (“Everything happening in this family is my fault”). And believes he or she can never do things right. Someone with such trait always have a negative view about things, even when things look good. People with this type of mindset often react passively, helplessly, and ineffectively to negative events than those who do not have such mindset. It is not yet clear whether this mindset comes before depression and is part of the teen’s personality or it’s a consequence of the individual’s depression or even gotten from a previous episode of depression, an episode that could have gone unnoticed. Evident exist that children and teens who have suffered from depression before could have learned to view things this way. And react the same way to negative events after they have recovered from depression. This can explain why teens who have suffered depression before are continuously at risk of depression.
Stressful Life Events
It’s a known fact that stressful life events increases an individual’s chance of developing depression. For teens some stressful life events they may face that could increase their risk of depression are: Regular quarreling and fighting between parents. Loss of a parent either in death or divorce. Teenage neglect. Moving to a new area and changing schools. Physical or psychological abuse. The risk of depression is higher if these stressful life events occurs early in the teen’s childhood.
Medical or Physical conditions
There are specific neurotransmitters in the brain that affects one’s mood and when the levels are low, can cause teen depression. And also some medical conditions can also increase a teen’s chance of getting depression. Conditions such as: Substance abuse disorder Disruptive or antisocial disorder Dysthymia Anxiety disorder Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Epilepsy Cancer
Depression and substance abuse almost always go together for teenagers. Substance abuse by teens include alcohol abuse, cocaine abuse and stimulant withdrawal.
Teens are very sensitive to their environment. A teen surrounded by love and security has a lesser chance of developing depression than a teen surrounded in an environment full of contention and abuse. A teen growing up in a family that is always not happy and less enthusiastic about life could reflect on the behavior of the teen and how he or she sees life. An unhappy family environment could cause a teen to have low self esteem which could lead a teen to abuse substance in other to escape such environment and in some cases, substance abuse (alcohol and drugs) bring about depression.
Causes of Teen Depression | Final Notes
Experts are uncertain of the exact causes of teen depression, and the risk factors above are never known to be the exact cause. The fact that a teen has these risk factors doesn’t mean the teen will suffer from depression or is suffering from depression, and it also doesn’t mean the teen is not suffering from depression. The risk factors are what they are, they increases the likelihood of the teen developing depression. The more risk factors the teen has, the higher the risk. To be sure if your teen is suffering from depression, watch out for the signs of teenage depression. To help and prevent teen depression, a teen needs to be shown love, attention and understanding.
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