If you’re wondering what causes depression in teens, you need to know that teenagers can face depression due to various reasons. These range from genetics to hormonal imbalances and traumatic experiences to physical illnesses. Below are some of the most common causes of teenage stress and depression in adolescence.
- Changes in Hormones
Fluctuations in hormones can trigger depression. The estrogen hormone is directly linked with depression. Since estrogen levels significantly increase in women during puberty, it can cause depression in young women.
- Stressful life events (academic and social life)
Research has found that childhood traumas or abuse, no social life or the feeling of loneliness and lack of acceptance can lead to depression. Moreover, poor performance in academics can also result in depressive symptoms.
- Physical changes are difficult to cope with
Physical changes in the body during puberty, such as the development of body hair and acne, growth of genitals, increasing weight, can be overwhelming for many adolescents. Owing to a lack of proper knowledge and exposure to the idea of a “perfect body”, they are likely to develop depression.
- Having a difficult time with their sexual orientation
Puberty is that stage of one’s life in which one comes across sexual thoughts and feelings that might seem confusing. Some adolescents develop feelings for same-sex people, which might cause social withdrawal and trigger depression.
- Learned patterns of negative thinking
Negative thinking patterns are commonly seen in adolescents. While this might seem over-reacting to thoughts and situations, they are likely to come naturally to most youngsters and make them feel depressed over things that might not even be true. Example: “My friends don’t like to click pictures with me, maybe because I’m too dark and obese”. This results in helplessness rather than finding the solutions or root causes to the problems.
Lifestyle changes to cope with depression during puberty
If you’re experiencing some lighter symptoms of depression and find it difficult to cope with, below are a few changes that you can make in your lifestyle to overcome these symptoms and prevent yourself from falling prey to a severe mental disorder.
- Stay healthy and exercise
Taking a healthy and balanced diet can reduce the symptoms of depression. Engaging in physical activities has been proven to be beneficial in overcoming depression as that results in the secretion of a hormone, which makes you happy.
- Have realistic expectations and goals
Many adolescents set unrealistic expectations for themselves and set goals that can result in failures and feelings of disappointment or low self-confidence. Setting realistic academic and other goals in life can help you achieve them peacefully.
- Keep life simple
Overcomplicating life, thinking excessively, expecting too much, and indulging in many activities can be overwhelming and might never give you a sense of accomplishment. Try to keep your life simple and minimalistic.
- Ask for help
Seeking help from parents, friends, school counsellors, or even professional psychiatrists can help you feel better. Do not hesitate to share your thoughts or feelings if something is bothering you. It can significantly change how you think about yourself or feel about life.
- Keep a journal
There might be things you don’t want to share with anyone; share them with your best friend – a diary. In fact, make it a habit to share your everyday journey, feelings and thoughts in your journal, and it will boost your mood significantly.
Depression during puberty is a commonly-seen disorder that can affect adolescents’ physical, mental and emotional growth. While massive hormonal changes are common, it is important to acknowledge one’s thoughts, feelings and symptoms and seek personal, professional or medical attention, as required.