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Depression is a medical illness that results in psychological and physical symptoms. It can happen at any age, including during adolescence.Roughly one in five teenagers will suffer with depression at some point but many will be too depressed to get the right treatment.When teen depression goes untreated, the outcome can be serious and result in:
- Poor performance at school
- Troubled relationships
- Increased rates of substance abuse
- Risky sexual behaviour
- Increased bouts of physical illness
- Suicide attempts and completions.
What causes teen depression?
There many different factors which can cause depression including:
- Family history
- Loss, such as the death of a friend or family member, a move to a new school or community or a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend can trigger depression.
- Circumstances such as social isolation, alcoholism in the family, poverty, family violence or ongoing conflict, or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse may contribute to or cause depression.
What should you do if you suspect your teen is depressed?
Seek professional help right away. You are not expected to make a diagnosis. Your GP or a qualified health professional will be able to make a diagnosis. Your GP may also recommend a mental health professional.