First Signs of Depression in Teenagers

by NDFAuthors

  • Dec 15, 2014

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, suggests that depression is just another name for “sadness that lasts longer than six weeks”. Find out how it affects the teens.

Depression is one of the most widespread and most common illnesses in modern society. There are various risk factors for depression, most often they are connected to socialization, but also to genetic predisposition.

There are three types of depression:  early (mild) depression, moderate (temporary) depression and major depressive disorder. Depression is of course curable; however it is also very dangerous and can lead to suicide.


Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, claimed that depression was just another name for “sadness that lasts longer than six weeks”.  Modern scientists who are researching this issue believe that depression begins if the ill person is sad and hates herself for longer than two weeks. It is important to point out that this illness affects all age groups, and for children it’s most common during puberty and adolescence.

Symptoms of Depression in Adolescents


Symptoms of depression in adolescents often stay unrecognized and are different than those that the older population has. Here, we are going to highlight the most important symptoms of this insidious illness in young people. So, what actually happens with teens?

  • One of numerous symptoms, and surely one of first, is the  short attention span. Concentration is very weak. Even when he tries to do an exercise, the teenager is left without real results. At the same time he also believes that he has made a lot of effort, which leads to frustration. He sees himself as stupid, incompetent and inadequate.
  • Daydreaming is also pronounced. Short attention span in school, for example, or concentrating on one topic or exercise is difficult, which adds to the daydreaming.


  • Fatigue (without any physical exertion or other task) together with inner emptiness.
  • Body weight (sudden loss or gain), as well as obvious obsession with one’s body are indications of symptoms, too.
  • Nicotine, alcohol, drug abuse, abuse of medications that reduce anxiety, constant sadness, and the feeling of insignificance.
  • Sleeping is imbalanced. They can’t fall into deep sleep, fall asleep at all or they wake up early.  Sometimes they will sleep through the whole day.

It is important to mention that, if we recognize these symptoms, we should also pay attention to how the teenagers take care of their appearance (are they meticulous when it comes to clothes, hair combing, personal hygiene). It is essential to observe how they clean up their room, which music they listen to, who they admire, who their idols are, whose posters they put up on the walls, etc.


The causes, as we said at the beginning, can be various. Genetic factors exist, but many psychologists believe that the most important factor is the environment. Also, the relationship with their mother is one of the most important ones. Whether the mother is warm, gentle, can understand and solve problems and help her child or whether she is also depressed, too strict, punishing, can’t’ understand and recognize what’s happening with her child, which leads to illness. Furthermore, unhealthy, inharmonious relationships within a family, vices of the closest persons, parents’ divorce, death of a close person, rejection from the peers or a crush, pressure from the professors, state of the wider environment, can also have a painful influence on the adolescent.

Depression is a very curable illness. The best method in this case is talking with someone and of course the understanding of the closest people. Sport activities are very important, especially those that the person is already interested in. Additionally, working for a cause, being sociable, having a hobby and exposing to natural light can be helpful as well.


If the person is clinically depressed, the most important thing is to see a professional.

Finally, taking the definition of depression into account, we should think about whether we treat ourselves and others well. Whether we help or hinder. Whether somebody needs us. We need faith in better tomorrow and to see this moment called life as the biggest gift. That is why we should spend as much time as possible with our teenagers, love them and be happy, because even the psychologists themselves are agreeing with the thesis that depression is nothing but  “a desperate cry for love”.