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How to handle teen depression

When a teen you care about is suffering from depression, it can be confusing and even overwhelming. It’s frustrating to not know how to respond and which sources on teen depression you should trust. In this video, I’ll walk you through how to carefully handle teen depression.

Teen Depression Facts: 1 in 20 teenagers, will experience an episode of Major Depression, making it one of the most common medical illnesses young people face.  (Essau & Dobson, 1999)

WATCH: How to Handle Teen Depression

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There are multiple reasons for depression, I’ve listed just a few of them here. Because your teen is an incredibly complex person, he or she could be going through one of these, a combination of these or something entirely different. It’s always best to consult with a licensed mental health professional.

CHEMICAL: Your teen has double the amount of hormones racing through his or her body, that can lead to depression. Also his or her brain may not make enough of a certain chemical, like diabetics don’t produce enough insulin.

SOCIAL ISSUES: When you’re 14 or 17, a really bad day can seem like the end of your world because of social problems. Your teen might be feeling rejected by their peers, or some other difficult social experience.

EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES:  A teen’s emotions tend to be challenging to manage because they are dealing with adult-level problems, without the experience of an adult to help them cope. Therefore, they lack the gift of perspective.


PLEASE HEAR ME: It’s important to understand this is a nuanced and complex issue. In many cases, the unconditional and loving support of a parent or caring adult who listens, who cares, and who offers counsel where appropriate is enough. But if it’s not, and you find your teen is descending into depression or it’s happening for an extended period of time, then it’s time to ask for professional help such as Cognitive behavioral therapy.


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