Many factors increase the risk of developing or triggering teen depression, including:

  • Having issues that negatively impact self-esteem, such as obesity, peer problems, long-term bullying or academic problems
  • Having been the victim or witness of violence, such as physical or sexual abuse
  • Having other conditions, such as an anxiety disorder, anorexia or bulimia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or learning disabilities
  • Having a chronic medical illness such as cancer, diabetes or asthma
  • Having few friends or other personal relationships
  • Having certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem or being overly dependent, self-critical or pessimistic
  • Abusing alcohol, nicotine or other drugs
  • Being a girl — depression occurs more often in females than in males
  • Being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender — becoming socially isolated or experiencing bullying may increase the risk of depression

Family history and issues with family or others may also increase your teen's risk of depression:

  • Having a parent, grandparent or other biological (blood) relative with depression, bipolar disorder or alcoholism
  • Having a family member who committed suicide
  • Having a dysfunctional family and conflict
  • Having experienced recent stressful life events, such as parental divorce, parental military service or the death of a loved one
Nov. 07, 2012