ZocdocAnswersWhat causes severe depression in teenagers?

Question

What causes severe depression in teenagers?

Could it be hormones or is it the Internet? I'm trying to better understand my kids.

Answer

Being a teenager is a stressful time. Some of the important psychological tasks that your children undergo at this time include negotiating their sense of identity and independence. At the same time they are very susceptible to peer pressure and other social factors. The best thing you can do as a parent is to try to maintain open communication with your children. You should always ask them open ended questions and give them the chance to respond as they wish. Let them know that you are always available to talk about anything that might be bothering them. At the same time, if you think one of your children may be depressed, this is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Depression in teenagers is caused by many of the same factors as depression in adults, namely the interaction between a genetic predisposition with various social and environmental factors. If you think you child is depressed you should consult with their pediatrician or their psychiatrist. The doctor will be able to make an assessment of your child's mood and social functioning and help you to determine whether or not they may need treatment for these symptoms.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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