Depression Among Teenagers: Causes and Treatment

July 27, 2015

st0727-01Depression is an extremely prevalent issue in society today, particularly among teenagers. High school teens are the most susceptible to depression because of the instability that is already present in their lives.

Through a personal anonymous survey that I conducted among 30 random teenagers who have gone through or are currently going through depression, I was able to record several personal definitions of this condition.

One person stated that, “depression is when one feels completely alone and isolated.”

Another defined depression as “oppression that physically, mentally, and emotionally robs someone of who they are and can be.”

Although depression could be caused by countless factors, one defining quality is either its external or internal causing force.

Nearly 50% of the people who took the survey stated that an internal force caused their depression, such as suicidal thoughts or overwhelming emotions.

Contrarily, external causes include familial issues, relationship problems, or even academic expectations.

For example, a divorce or a death in the family can cause great psychological instability for teens. This depression not only affects their behavior, but also eventually pervades nearly every aspect of their lives-academics, social relations,
even personality.

A few coping mechanisms teenagers have tried to use to get through their depression is the use of media, indulging themselves with different types of music, venting their emotions to a friend or companion, or even by physically harming themselves through drugs or direct self mutilation.

Professional treatment remains available, like psychologists and psychiatrists or prescribed medication, all of which can ensure the healthiest route to take.

However, seeking such help remains one of the most unpopular methods because teenagers tend to close themselves off rather than share their experiences.

Despite the fact that school psychiatrists are available to offer a helping hand to struggling students, such a resource is not often utilized.

The reason for this is because, as one response in the survey states, “Usually people do not like opening up about depression unless it is to someone that they really trust.

Many times when I would confide in someone, he or she would let me down or did not even help me, which led to my becoming more bitter, alone and depressed. I would say having someone is so important, but it needs to be someone who can really help them and actively try to guide them.”

Keeping this is mind, it can be concluded that counselors or psychologists can truly play a vital role in someone’s life, but only by actively building relationships and making it clear that they are there to help would broken teenagers really open up and receive the healing and guidance they truly need.

Overall, confiding in a community is one of the most important curative mechanisms of depression.

After analyzing the various responses of the anonymous survey I conducted, I was able to truly gain insight into the prevalence, severity, and effects of this serious condition.

Although depression is overwhelming during its duration and may limit the perspective of all things good, there surely does exist a light at the end of the tunnel-just with the right amount of trust and guidance.


st0727-01-1 Katherine Kim
Troy High School 11th Grade


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