5 Fast Facts About Adolescent Depression

5 Fast Facts About Adolescent Depression

If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Stephen Fry

We’ve made significant strides in our acknowledgement of depression and how it affects adults worldwide.

When it comes to the younger members of our communities, however, we’re more inclined to explain it away as “a phase” or a product of fluctuating hormones.

But, the truth is, adolescent depression is a significant mental health concern that affects many teenagers worldwide.

And there’s a lot we can do to help.

Here are five fast facts about adolescent depression:

1. Adolescent depression is real.

Adolescent depression is very real and relatively common. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is a leading cause of illness and disability among adolescents globally. Studies indicate that approximately 13% of adolescents experience major depressive disorder at some point during their teenage years, and many more experience depression symptoms.

2. Adolescent depression can look similar to adult depression.

The symptoms of depression in adolescents can be similar to those in adults. Common symptoms include persistent sadness or irritability, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, changes in appetite or weight, sleep disturbances, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide.

3. Some adolescents are at elevated risk for depression.

Several factors can increase the risk of developing depression during adolescence. These include a family history of depression, exposure to trauma or stress (such as bullying, abuse, or the loss of a loved one), chronic illness, and significant life changes. Social and environmental factors, such as academic pressure, peer relationships, and socio-economic status, also play a role.

4. Depression affects adolescents’ quality of life.

Depression during adolescence can significantly affect various aspects of a teenager’s life. It can lead to poor academic performance, strained relationships with family and friends, substance use, and an increased risk of engaging in self-harm or suicidal behaviors. Early intervention is crucial to prevent long-term negative outcomes.

5. Help is available.

Effective treatments for adolescent depression include psychotherapy (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy), medication (like antidepressants), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), or a combination of these. Early diagnosis and intervention are essential, and support from family, friends, and school can make a substantial difference in the recovery process. Encouraging open communication and reducing the stigma around mental health issues are vital for helping adolescents seek the help they need.

Learn more about the FDA-approved TMS treatment for adolescent depression we offer at Sonder.


Interested in learning more facts about adolescent depression and meeting with a member of our team?