Having discussed the overview of depression and warning signs and symptoms to it, we’ll be digging into its causes. The main cause of depression is not known, as it has no specific cause, but there are a number of things that can lead to depression in teenagers. Adolescence comes with its own turbulent times, and although teen depression is alike with adult depression, some things can’t still be aligned, like some causes linked to teen depression and the management thereafter. Before dealing with the management of depression, it’s best you reach the root and know what exactly the cause is. Then, you will know where and how to tackle it.
I’ll be highlighting a number of these causes here; I can’t possibly give a drop-down list of all the causes, as they are diverse. I’ll only be discussing some major common ones.
- Early childhood trauma: we all do not have the smoothest childhood experience. For some, it was brutal, annoying, and some are left to live with haunting memories for the rest of their lives, making them susceptible to depression. It could be as a result of rape, or the death of a loved one, or even a form of abuse. Consistent failure can also be trauma inducing, especially if accompanied by reproach from dear ones; if this happens at childhood, it may haunt the teen and the memory can make such teen depressed.
- Academic stress: the pressure that comes with a compulsory success from parents and guardians is enough to break one down. What happens if the teen isn’t doing well academically? Parents/guardians will definitely not be impressed, and they can unintentionally act out of place toward the teen. This affected teen is likely to get depressed as a result of this, especially if he/she is also passionate about succeeding academically but no matter how much trial, it never seems to work. Many teenagers today are being compelled to be the best, even when it’s not working out, they have to make it work out. So the teen ends up getting fed up and really depressed.
- Conflicts between parents: many parents do not give much thoughts to this, or maybe they do, but they don’t just have any other choice. Let’s state this clear, conflicts have a way of altering children’s brain. This also includes divorce. When parents go their separate ways, not every child will be able to live up to this, due to different reasons. What if the child is staying with the parent he/she doesn’t really like? What if the child wants to be with the father but is being compelled to stay with the mother? What if the child is tired of watching the parents argue over and over again? What if the child is not being heard when he/she really needs a listening ear? What if the child gets lonely because there’s never peace in the home? And so on. This is really depressing. Parents should take note.
- Financial struggle: as children age, there will be demands. It, however, doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, certain demands have to be compulsorily met in order to keep up with life. When these needs aren’t met, it becomes really sad for the adolescent. It really isn’t easy to move on like nothing’s happened when your peers are doing things you can’t do all because of financial breakdown. Imagine a teenager in college who hasn’t eaten all day, and doesn’t even have the slightest idea if he/she would taste anything before bedtime, all because there’s no money anywhere. How do you expect such teenager to concentrate in studies? Maybe a few can keep up with the struggle and not get depressed, but that’s one in a thousand case.
- Neglect: this can be physical or emotional. There may be a time in the teenager’s life when he/she feels independent and all alone, but believe me, such teen still needs the care once in a while; the need to have someone around who really cares. Interestingly, even adults need companion, how much more adolescents? There are days when the teen will feel all alone and like no one ever cares about how he/she runs life daily. Once in a while, this feeling sets in, and it can lead to depression.
Above are some major causes of depression in teenagers, and I believe many teenagers will relate to at least one of these. We’ll be discussing the risks, management, the role of parents, and other things in subsequent posts.
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