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Effects of Teenage Depression

author image Alia Butler
Alia Butler holds a Master of Social Work from Washington University, St. Louis, concentrating in mental health, and a Master of Arts in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University. Currently, Butler is a freelance writer, penning articles focusing on mental health, healthy living and issues surrounding work-life balance. She is the principle/owner of ALIA Living, LLC, providing residential interior design services, professional organizing and life coaching.
Effects of Teenage Depression
A teenager retreating on the edge of a couch. Photo Credit Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images


The effects of teenage depression are real and can be detrimental. These effects can cause lasting physical and emotional problems for teens, notes the MayoClinic.com. It is important to take depression in teens seriously and do what you can to prevent or stop the negative consequences from happening or getting worse.

School Problems

HelpGuide.org reports that depression in teens can affect their ability to concentrate and maintain their energy levels. This may cause them to have poor attendance at school, a decrease in their academic performance and an increase in getting into trouble with school personal.

Substance Abuse

Substances, such as drugs and alcohol, may be abused by teens with depression as a way to reduce their symptoms. HelpGuide.org notes that substance abuse will only make the symptoms of depression and the negative effects worse.

Eating Disorders

Teens with eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and various forms of dieting behaviors may be struggling with depression, reports HelpGuide.org. Eating disorders give depressed teens some form of control in their life. They cannot control how they feel when they are depressed, but they can have power over food and their food intake.

Low Self-esteem

One of the symptoms of depression is feelings of worthlessness. This feeling will cause a teenâ??s self-esteem to decrease. They will feel worse about things such as their looks, their abilities and their worthiness. Also, if depression induces a teen to eat more they may gain weight, which can also have negative consequences on their self-esteem.

Internet Addiction

Some depressed teens may isolate themselves and begin spending all their time on the internet. They may use the internet as a way to escape their problems, notes HelpGuide.org.

Running Away

Many teens with depression will either run away from home or talk about running away. HelpGuide.org notes that usually if a teenager is doing this they are trying to send a signal that they are in need of help.

Reckless Behaviors

A teenager who has depression may engage in careless and reckless behaviors that could be life threatening. Such behaviors could include drinking while driving, driving at very high speeds, mixing drugs and alcohol, engaging in high risk sexual acts and hanging out with people who are dangerous.


Depression can fuel violence in some teens. According to HelpGuide.org, self-hatred and a wish to die can erupt into violent and homicidal rage.


Teens who are depressed may engage in self-injurious behaviors such as cutting, burning or various kinds of self-mutilation. This is done in order to redirect the pains of depression and to allow the teen to feel they have control over something in their life.


According to Kidâ??sHealth.org, teens can experience depression that is so severe that they may think about or attempt suicide. If a teen is thinking about suicide this is considered an emergency situation. The teen should be taken to the emergency room and/or their therapist should be called.

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