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Helping Your Teen Cope with Depression

For anyone going through depression, especially a teen, it can feel lonely and suffocating. However, the truth is that teens going through depression are not alone. In fact, they are in good company. According to recent data, over 13 percent of teens in the United States between 13 and 24 have experienced a major depressive episode. At some age levels, it was more than 18 percent. And, those are only the ones that reporting their depression. 

Learn more about depression in teens and what it can feel like for a teen coping with a major depressive episode. 

Causes of Teen Depression

According to the Mayo Clinic, the causes of teen depression are mostly unknown, but it may involve several factories including,


Depression is more common in teens who have a family history of depression. 

Brain Chemistry

When neurotransmitters (your brain’s messengers) are abnormal or impaired, nerve receptors and systems change, leading to depression.


Teens are going through hormonal changes, and as hormones change, they may become imbalanced, triggering depression. 

Childhood trauma

Many teens who experience depression have endured a traumatic event, such as abuse, loss of a parent, or negligence. These events may cause changes in the brain, increasing the risk of depression. 

Patterns of negative thinking

Depressed teens report patterns of helpless thinking and victim mentality instead of learning the coping skills to face the challenges of adolescence head-on. 

Risk Factors of Teen Depression

Additionally, there are risk factors that may increase a teen’s risk for depression. They include, 

  • Negative self-esteem
  • Witnessing violent acts, such as physical or sexual abuse
  • Being the victim of violent acts, such as physical or sexual abuse
  • Experiencing other mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, a personality disorder, anorexia, or bulimia
  • Having a learning disability 
  • Chronic illness
  • Substance abuse 
  • Being LGBTQA in an unsupportive environment

Treating Teen Depression

Identifying depression in teens is challenging because many symptoms of depression in teens overlap with normal teen behavior. However, when your teen loses interest in activities that once brought them joy or if they seem incapable of handling challenging emotions, it’s time to seek help. 

If your teen begins to have suicidal ideations or threatens suicide, seek emergency medical care immediately. Call a mental health professional or the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-TALK) or use its webchat on suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat. Never ignore comments about suicide, even if said jokingly. 

Embark Behavioral Health has a range of programs that help teens treat depression. In residential treatment centers located throughout the country, our staff is well-trained in helping teens overcome suicide. Our treatment programs are family-focused and outcomes-driven, using a range of therapies and modalities, getting lasting results that matter. 

Your teen can defeat the inner voice of depression.  They can learn how to manage everything life sends their way. They can learn to communicate better with family and improve their relationships. They can heal. 

Help your teen take control of their life by contacting Embark Behavioral Health at 1-855-809-0409 right now. You know where they are; now help them get where they want to be. 

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Embark Behavioral Health

Embark Behavioral Health is a leading network of clinics and programs offering premier mental health treatment for adolescents and young adults. Dedicated to its mission of reversing the trends of adolescent and young adult anxiety, depression, and suicide by 2028, Embark is unlike any other behavioral health organization in the United States. Embark offers a full continuum and spectrum of services, a unique 25-years of specialization, a deep legacy of serving youth, and a set of internationally validated outcomes that drive treatment in real-time. For more information about Embark or its treatment programs, including wilderness therapy, long-term residential treatment centers, short-term residential treatment centers, day treatment, partial hospitalization (PHP) programs, intensive outpatient programs (IOP), outpatient, and virtual counseling visit www.embarkbh.com.