Effects of Depression Among Adolescents


Depression is a common mood disorder which often results in serious consequences. Often called “Depressive States” the condition has been thoroughly researched in the past. The concept of Depressive disorder, which is a mood disorder, became an independent concept by the year 1880. Koo, (2018) states that it is necessary for a person to experience depression symptoms for at least 2 consecutive weeks in order to provide a medical diagnosis. Depression results in loss of interest, sleeping problems, changes in appetite, fatigue and suicidal ideation. Lowered motivation, ability to perform tasks impacts one’s mental state, further exacerbating the problem. Feelings of worthless permeate a depressed person’s life, making it difficult to seek out support or treatment. In addition, a general disregard for one’s life and dissatisfaction can often contribute to suicidal ideations. Depression is often a result of past trauma, abuse, exposure to extremely difficult situations and neglect in an early age. These factors often result in providing a strong blow to the teenagers’ sense of self. Shame and guilt are often the result of distress and depression which results in the usual daily activities.

Thus, the paper will discuss the topic: Effect of depression among teenagers and adolescents.

Literature review

Depression: Symptoms and definitions

First, it is necessary to understand how depression affects one’s self, and its many symptoms. Kendler et al., (2019) used data from over a thousand samples to determine that there is genetic influence in the development of depression. The authors also suggest that depressive symptoms and Neuroticism are measured in terms of negative affect and forms the central concept of Major Depression, which can be especially useful for this discussion. Families with a long history of depression are more likely to produce adolescents under risk for the condition. In this population, depressive states often lead to devastating outcomes.

Feelings of worthlessness or guilt is often detected among teenagers and adolescents who suffer from depression. These feelings, coupled with multi-faceted issues presented by depression make teenagers and adolescents withdraw from relationships with friends or family. The combination of economic and social conditions present by depression even impacts one’s ability to learn, making people drop out of colleges and schools at a higher rate. Similar to previously covered researchers, Ghasemi et al., (2017) discussed depression among the adolescents and teenagers. Their work was based on analyzing adolescent college students. Ghasemi et al., (2017) used a cross-sectional study to evaluate 88 dental students, Ghasemi et al., concluded that depression results in having negative impacts on restlessness, nervousness, anxiety and individual prosperity. Music therapy is concluded to be effective in treating depression.

Poor sleeping patterns, addiction, impaired social life, trouble receiving education all intertwine, contributing to a worse overall quality of life. Physical effects of depression can often manifest in substance addition and eating disorders, affecting one’s body along with their mind. Depression also results in an overall decline in a person’s energy level. One’s capacity to perform tasks they enjoy and interact with other people decreases. Most activities feel draining, and no enjoyment is derived from acts their would have otherwise enjoyed. A lessened capacity to find joy makes it more difficult to fight depression. Aside from hobbies and relationships, young people with a depressive disorder experience trouble fulfilling their obligations, meeting goals, or working consistently. Schoolwork, household chores or any type of work become a constant struggle with one’s self. In understanding depression, it is also important to note that its symptoms can vary greatly depending on the population. Additionally, even individuals within the same demographic have their unique experiences with the condition. Treatment is extremely vital in combatting depression; however, many adolescents suffer from treatment-resistant types of depression. Research provided by Kendler et al., (2019) notes that teenagers often do not respond to treatments being provided. As a result, solutions that are aimed at mitigating symptoms of depression on a constant basis, or systems of accommodating the condition become a necessity.

Depression: Causes

According to Faeq, (2016), depression among students is most commonly seen. It is a global problem that is present in both developed and third-world countries. At a global level, it can be noted that depression is the primary disorder among teenagers and adolescents. The author suggests that socio-economic factors are the main cause of depression. One’s environment, economic standing, social circle, among other factors, all contribute to a person’s experience with depression. By using a self-report questionnaire, symptoms of depression among students were measured. The paper concluded that rates of depression among female students were higher than males. The findings possibly suggest that young women suffer more from the cumulative social problems in their local area, leading to increased likelihood of depression.

There are also other statistics regarding depression and its prevalence. Evidence suggests that 9 out of 10 current smokers had started their journey of substance abuse before adulthood, and according to Milic et al., (2020), smoking is the strongest contributing factor of depression. The connection between the two is not explored by Faeq (2016), and can be an interesting avenue for futher research.

Depression on adolescents and teenagers: Rate

Similar to the analysis of Faeq and Milic et al., Li, Gao & Fu, (2021) also concluded that nearly 61 million teenagers in rural China suffer from depression. Their paper further adds that children of worker migrant families suffer from depression more than those living in regular families. This data suggests that depression often forms as a result of inadequate family conditions. Li, Gao & Fu, (2021) also collected data regarding depression-related adolescent deaths, which remain among the largest problems presented by the condition. A decrease in the overall quality of life, dissatisfaction with the self and a lack of self-worth often leads depressed teens to suicide. Overall, the paper reinforces the extreme detrimental effects found in depression. Similar conclusion was also reached other researchers.

Depression and suicidal ideation

Kim et al., (2018) stated depression, suicide ideation and attempted suicide are strongly related. Many teen struggles can result in depression, which then results in suicidal thoughts. Social difficulties, academic pressures, and stress might lead to suicidal ideation. Adolescence is a period in life where most individuals are only starting to figure themselves out, defining their personality and character within society. In this development stage, teens are also most vulnerable. Loneliness, increased in screen time, and social media use introduces teens to unhealthy bodily standards, which then grow into dissatisfaction with one’s own body. Feelings of inadequacy follow, often resulting in depression. Identity, sexuality and one’s self-identification may also be points of risk for developing depression, especially for LGBT youth. The risk ratio of depression and suicide is ever increasing among the adolescent population. Research paper conducted by Kim et al had concluded that adolescents’ shows depressive symptoms which results in suicide-related outcomes. Suicide rates have increased in recent past, especially among females, thereby supporting the data provided by Faeq who also concluded that rates of depression among female students were higher than males.

Suicidal ideations among teens and adolescents due to depression are often the result of untreated depression. The findings by Kendler et al., state teens are often unable to properly respond to depression treatment policies, or find them generally ineffective, which supports this trend. Patients with Major Depressive Disorder is that group who is affected by suicidal ideation more. Alternative therapy solutions like Ghasemi’s therapy, have potential in reducing suicidal ideation. If depression can be cured and effective early intervention with the clients can be ensured, suicide can be avoided.

Literature gap: The neuropsychological concept behind depression was not analyzed by much research papers. Also, many papers were only concentrated on specific countries, thus effect of depression on the teenagers and adolescents in the global context was not much discussed by many papers. Many papers discussed the effect of depression from a general point of view without focusing much on the specific effects of depression on teenagers and adolescents. All these aspects can be discussed at length in future research papers.


Depression is a problem that affects all demographics, but this paper focuses on adolescents as its main point of discussion. It can be concluded that, depression is a major cause of mental health disorder among teenagers and adolescents. The research papers cited have noted that depression leads suicidal ideation and death, especially among vulnerable demographics. Even in less severe circumstances, depression introduced an myriad of problems capable of affecting a person’s life. Its effect on education, social life, hobbies, relationships and all other aspects of a teen’s life cannot be understated. While intervention strategies exist, it was noted that many of them have proven ineffective. Adolescents don’t respond to regular treatment options well, and many of them can be considered worthless. However, other avenues for action exist, such as music therapy and nursing interventions. It is necessary for professionals to conduct more research into teenage depression, finding treatments suitable for this vulnerable population. Alternatively, it is also vital that adolescents with depression are able to receive support and accommodation that makes their life more comfortable. Treating depression and helping people manage it must before the primary goals of teen depression research.


Faeq, D. (2016). Depression among students: Critical review. Retrieved June, 12, 2019.

Ghasemi, M., Lotfollahzadeh, H., Kermani-Ranjbar, T., & Kharazifard, M. J. (2017). Effect of music practice on anxiety and depression of Iranian dental students. Journal of Dentistry (Tehran, Iran), 14(3), 138.

Kendler, K. S., Gardner, C. O., Neale, M. C., Aggen, S., Heath, A., Colodro-Conde, L.,… & Gillespie, N. A. (2019). Shared and specific genetic risk factors for lifetime major depression, depressive symptoms and neuroticism in three population-based twin samples. Psychological Medicine, 49(16), 2745-2753.

Kim, Y. K., Yang, M. Y., Barthelemy, J. J., & Lofaso, B. M. (2018). A binary gender analysis to bullying, dating violence, and attempted suicide: The disproportionate effect of depression and psychological harm. Children and Youth Services Review, 90, 141-148.

Koo, S. K. (2018). Depression status in Korea. Osong public health and research perspectives, 9(4), 141.

Li, W., Gao, W. Y., & Fu, W. D. (2021). When does teacher support reduce depression in students? the moderating role of students’ status as left-behind children. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 608359.

Milic, M., Gazibara, T., Pekmezovic, T., Kisic Tepavcevic, D., Maric, G., Popovic, A.,… & Levine, H. (2020). Tobacco smoking and health-related quality of life among university students: Mediating effect of depression. PloS one, 15(1), e0227042.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Effects of Depression Among Adolescents'. 8 April.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Effects of Depression Among Adolescents." April 8, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/effects-of-depression-among-adolescents/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Effects of Depression Among Adolescents." April 8, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/effects-of-depression-among-adolescents/.


PsychologyWriting. "Effects of Depression Among Adolescents." April 8, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/effects-of-depression-among-adolescents/.