Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how one feels, thinks and behaves and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Depression may interfere with one’s daily work, resulting in loss of time and lower productivity. It can also influence relationships and some chronic health conditions.

Feeling sad or moody sometimes is a part of life. Young people can feel sad and worried about life events such as examinations, family crises, fights with friends, changing schools, changes in physical body etc. sometimes, the feeling of sadness go for weeks or months and affects everyday life. If a young person feels miserable most of the time and find it difficult to get motivated, they may have depression; a serious illness that can affect people of all ages.

Symptoms of depression in young people

Like every one, young people can have occasional mood swings, feel irritable sometimes and be particularly sensitive to rejection and criticism. But if these mood have lasted for two weeks or more, the young person could have depression.

Symptoms that may indicate depression include:

  1. Feeling worthless or guilty most of the time.
  2. Feeling tired.
  3. Feeling irritable or grumpy.
  4. Having trouble sleeping -either falling asleep or staying asleep.
  5. Lacking motivation and feeling everything is too bad.
  6. Having thoughts of death or suicide.
  7. Losing interest in food or eating too much.
  8. Losing weight or gaining weight.
  9. Using cigarettes, alcohol or illegal drugs.

Sometimes there are no obvious symptoms of depression, but parents and teachers may notice behavioral changes in young people that suggest depression and should not be ignored, these include:

  1. Social withdrawal
  2. Lower marks at school
  3. Risk-taking behavior
  4. Use of alcohol and drugs.

Depression is one of the major risk factors for suicide and self harm. If a young person is self harming or talking about suicide, it is important that they talk with close and trusted people in their lives such as family members, or friends.


  1. Family Crisis/Conflict: A child that experiences fight in the family or separation and abuse has chances of being depressed.

2. Fight with friends or being bullied.

3. Abuse – Past physically, sexual, or emotional abuse can increase the vulnerability to clinical depression later in life.

4. Experiencing a break-up in relationship, recent death (of a loved one) abuse or neglect.

5. Certain Medications: There are some medications that when administered to one during a long-term treatment of a chronic sickness that can lead to depression. Sometimes depression is caused by genetic factors or biological factors like chemical imbalances. In all cases, it is important.

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  1. Nice summary! I also want to add that sometimes these symptoms can also pop up due to medical reasons, so it’s helpful to check in with a medical professional. Depression can be overcome/managed but it takes time and experimentation with different strategies.