Depression in Adolescents

By: Sarah Kenley

Depression is the most common psychological problem among adolescence..


  • 15%-20% of teenagers have had one or more major depressive episodes.
  • 2%-8% are chronically depressed.
  • Depression is only 2.8% in children under the age of 13 and doubles to 5.6% among adolescents aged 13–18.
  • Serious depression affects only 1%-2% of children many who remain depressed in adolescence.
  • Depression increases dramatically from ages 12-16.
  • The incidence of major depression peaks between the ages of 15 and 18.
  • Girls are more prone to depression than boys.
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WHT IS DEPRESSION: is the feeling sad, frustrated, and hopeless about life.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Loss of pleasure in most activities and disturbance in sleep, appetite, concentration and energy.

CHRONIC DEPRESSION: Gloomy and self-critical for many months and sometimes years.

ADULTHOOD: Adolescence who are depressed are at higher risk of being depressed in adulthood.

VUNERABLITY: Any event can spark depression. Examples include: failing at something important, parental divorce or the end of a close friendship or romantic relationship.

SUICIDE: Intense depression can lead to suicidal thoughts that often lead to action.


Biological changes among girls going through puberty is not the answer, simply because that is not always the case. Stressful lifestyle and coping styles is a major reason girls are more prone depression than boys.

The gender difference in depression is first apparent during the early adolescent period and becomes more noticeable by late adolescence. Early maturing girls are at the highest risk of becoming depressed. During this stage, girls are often passive, dependent and have a tendency to focus on their anxiety and problems that they are going through.

This stress that has built up can also lead to suicidal thoughts, which are often then acted upon. Parents, depression is not something to be taken lightly.