font size

Teen Depression

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Teen depression facts

  • Depression that extends beyond sadness to the point of illness is that which interferes with the sufferer's ability to function in some way.
  • Depression affects about 20% of adolescents by the time they reach adulthood.
  • Depression in teens does not have one single definitive cause, rather a number of biological, psychological, and environmental risk factors that contribute to its development.
  • General symptoms of depression regardless of age include having a depressed or irritable mood for at least two weeks and having at least five clinical signs and symptoms.
  • Teen suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth 10-24 years of age.
  • In order to determine the diagnosis of depression, a health care professional will likely conduct or refer for an extensive medical interview and physical examination and ask standard mental-health questions.
  • Treatment for teen depression may include addressing any medical conditions that cause or worsen the condition. It can also include lifestyle adjustments, psychotherapy, and medication for moderate to severe depression.
  • Interpersonal therapy (ITP) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are the two major approaches commonly used to treat teen depression.
  • About one-half of teens who take antidepressant medications get better. It may take anywhere from one to six weeks of taking medication at its effective dose to start feeling better.
  • Teen depression is a risk factor for developing a number of other mental-health symptoms and disorders.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States in people over the age of five years.
  • Attempts at prevention of teen depression tend to address both specific and nonspecific risk factors, strengthen protective factors, and use an approach that is appropriate for the teen's developmental level.
  • Family members and friends are advised to seek and encourage the depressed teen to receive mental-health evaluation and treatment.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/31/2013


Emotional Wellness

Get tips on therapy and treatment.

Teen Depression Related Articles
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations