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A female asked:

what causes depression in teenagers? why do some people seem perfectly happy and balanced throughout high school then when going to college start to suffer mood swings, depression, and personality changes?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine 41 years experience
Depression : Depression is a serious medical condition manifested by feelings of hopelessness, sadness, guilt, and worthlessness. Many factors in a teenager's life can trigger depression. When teenager's go off to college away from their home, teenager's can have trouble coping with the fact that they are no longer surrounded by family and friends, who have offered them emotional support. Also, as they are thrust in the new surroundings, teeenager's often have trouble coping with the pressure's of academia and fitting in to their new environment. During this time, a teenager is still coming into his or her own, identifying their path's and striving to succeed. Fear of failure, changes in their social support system and inablity to adapt to their new environment can cause much stress and trigger depression. If a teenager is experiencing any symptoms of depression, it is important that he/she build social networks to build support them emotionally (for example, see the school counselor for opportunities to join study groups and common interest/cultural clubs), and identify if the student needs a tutor to be successful in certain courses. If symptoms persist, have him/her assessed by a doctor to identify a treatment regimen that may involve counseling and antidepressant medication.
Dr. Carlos Satulovsky
Psychiatry 28 years experience
Two main reasons: Genetics and environment. Peers interaction, academic experiences and relationships, cultural and family factors will influence. Also, brain is in a growing process at that age.
Dr. Ana Adelstein
Clinical Psychology 27 years experience
Protective Factors: Many reasons but there are some key factors & skills that help teens cope more effectively w/stressors & challenges of adolescence: a) feeling loved, supported & understood; b) having people who can really talk 2; c) knowing how 2identify & express feelings; d) knowing things 2do 2cope w/stressors; & e) having close friendship(s). Consider: 90% of things kids/teens learn come from watching adults.

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Last updated Dec 28, 2016

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