12 doctors weighed in:

How long does a teenager need to be unhappy in order for you to be worried about depression?

12 doctors weighed in
Ben Ferguson
Surgery
6 doctors agree

In brief: Two weeks.

Major depressive disorder usually is not formally diagnosed unless symptoms are experienced for the majority of a two-week period.
Plus the symptoms cannot be attributed to bereavement, drug use, etc. And must include depressed mood most of each day, wt loss, sleep changes, fatique, poor mental function, suicidal thoughts etc, and not attributable to other issues ie anxiety, adhd, etc...

In brief: Two weeks.

Major depressive disorder usually is not formally diagnosed unless symptoms are experienced for the majority of a two-week period.
Plus the symptoms cannot be attributed to bereavement, drug use, etc. And must include depressed mood most of each day, wt loss, sleep changes, fatique, poor mental function, suicidal thoughts etc, and not attributable to other issues ie anxiety, adhd, etc...
Ben Ferguson
Ben Ferguson
Answer assisted by Ben Ferguson, Medical Student
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Dr. Elizabeth Finley-Belgrad
Pediatrics - Psychiatry
2 doctors agree

In brief: Don't wait

If a teen is unhappy unless it is very transient, it is always important to understand the source and work on coping strategies.
A persistent pattern or several weeks is a mandate for professional evaluation. However yoiur showing interest in theri well being is essential regardless of time span.

In brief: Don't wait

If a teen is unhappy unless it is very transient, it is always important to understand the source and work on coping strategies.
A persistent pattern or several weeks is a mandate for professional evaluation. However yoiur showing interest in theri well being is essential regardless of time span.
Dr. Elizabeth Finley-Belgrad
Dr. Elizabeth Finley-Belgrad
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Dr. William Singer
Pediatrics - Neurology

In brief: Any extended period

Being a teenager is a difficult period in the best of times.
If there is any period of unhappiness continues, speak to your pediatrician to help whether this is time for a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist.

In brief: Any extended period

Being a teenager is a difficult period in the best of times.
If there is any period of unhappiness continues, speak to your pediatrician to help whether this is time for a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Dr. William Singer
Dr. William Singer
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Dr. Brad Bobrin
Psychiatry

In brief: Not long

Although the diagnostic manual says depression should be diagnosed after two weeks, if your teen's function is severely effected or if suicidal ideation develops quickly, get your teen psychiatric help as soon as possible.

In brief: Not long

Although the diagnostic manual says depression should be diagnosed after two weeks, if your teen's function is severely effected or if suicidal ideation develops quickly, get your teen psychiatric help as soon as possible.
Dr. Brad Bobrin
Dr. Brad Bobrin
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