Why Do People Get Depressed?enteenshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/T-depressed-enHD-AR1.jpgThere's no one reason why people get depressed - many different things can play a role. Find out more about the things that can trigger depression.depression, depression factors, brain, brain chemistry, genes, genetic, genetics, neurotransmitter, neurotransmitters, serotonin, melatonin, sad, seasons, seasonal, light, daylight, light therapy, death, loss, divorced, family, resilient, resilience, ups and downs, bounce back, positive, optimist, optimistic, negative, pessimist, pessimistic, downer, unhappy, stress, problems, cope, coping, challenges, depressed, why am i depressed, am i depressed, diagnosing depression, depress, what causes depression, causes of depression, teens and depression, seasonal affective disorder, SAD, divorce, separate, remarry, death, grief, greif, greef, break-up, break up, poverty, homelessness, violence, ptsd, trauma, post traumatic, stressful, teens and stress, mental health, counseling, therapy, therapists, resilient, can't cope, need help, antidepressants, hormones, hormonal, moving, new school, new house11/09/201110/20/201610/20/2016D'Arcy Lyness, PhD08/14/2016d1e33cf3-a49d-4f8e-863b-f9423ee608d5https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/why-depressed.html/<p>Depression affects people of every age, economic situation, and race. Even though depression is common &mdash;&nbsp;especially in teens&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 16.8px;">&mdash;</span>&nbsp;some people get depressed but others don't. Why?</p> <h3>There's No One Reason for Depression</h3> <p>Lots of things influence whether a person gets depressed. Some of it is biology &mdash;&nbsp;things like our <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/genes-genetic-disorders.html/">genes</a>, brain chemistry, and hormones. Some is environment, including daylight and seasons, or social and family situations we face. And some is personality, like how we react to life events or the support systems we create for ourselves. All these things can help shape whether or not a person becomes depressed. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <h4><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Genes</span></h4> <p>Research shows that depression runs in families. Some people inherit genes that contribute to depression. But not everyone who has a family member with depression will develop it too. And many people with <em>no</em> family history of depression still get depressed. So genes are one factor, but they aren't the only reason for depression.</p> <h4><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Brain Chemistry</span></h4> <p>Chemicals called neurotransmitters (pronounced: nur-oh-TRANZ-mit-urs) help send messages between nerve cells in the brain. Some neurotransmitters regulate mood. When a person is depressed, these neurotransmitters might be in low supply or not effective enough.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Genes and brain chemistry can be connected: Having the genes for depression may make a person more likely to have the neurotransmitter problem that is part of depression.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Stress, Health, and Hormones</span></h4> <p>Things like stress, using alcohol or drugs, and hormone changes also affect the brain's delicate chemistry and mood.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Some health conditions may cause depression-like symptoms. For example, <a class="kh_anchor">hypothyroidism</a> is known to cause a depressed mood in some people. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/mononucleosis.html/">Mono</a> can drain a person's energy. When health conditions are diagnosed and treated by a doctor, the depression-like symptoms usually disappear.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Getting enough sleep and regular exercise often has a positive effect on neurotransmitter activity and mood.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Daylight and Seasons</span></h4> <p>Daylight affects how the brain produces melatonin and serotonin. These neurotransmitters help regulate a person's sleep&ndash;wake cycles, energy, and mood.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">When there is less daylight, the brain produces more melatonin. When there is more daylight, the brain makes more serotonin.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Shorter days and longer hours of darkness in fall and winter may lead the body to have more melatonin and less serotonin. This imbalance is what creates the conditions for depression in some people &mdash;&nbsp;a condition known as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sad.html/">seasonal affective disorder (SAD)</a>. Exposure to light can help improve mood for people affected by SAD.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Life Events</span></h4> <p>The <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/someone-died.html/">death</a> of a family member, friend, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pet-death.html/">pet</a> sometimes goes beyond normal grief and leads to depression. Other difficult life events&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 16.8px;">&mdash;</span>&nbsp;such as when parents <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/divorce.html/">divorce</a>, separate, or remarry&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 16.8px;">&mdash;</span>&nbsp;can trigger depression.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Whether or not difficult life situations lead to depression can depend a lot on how well a person is able to cope, stay positive, and receive support.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Family and Social Environment</span></h4> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">For some people, a negative, stressful, or unhappy family atmosphere can lead to depression. Other high-stress living situations &mdash; such as poverty, homelessness, or violence &mdash; can contribute, too. Dealing with&nbsp;</span><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/bullies.html/" style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 16.8px;">bullying</a><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">, harassment, or&nbsp;</span><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/peer-pressure.html/" style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 16.8px;">peer pressure</a><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">&nbsp;leaves some people feeling&nbsp;isolated,&nbsp;victimized, or insecure.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Situations like these don't necessarily lead to depression, but facing them without relief or support can make it easier to become depressed.</span></p> <h3><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Reacting to Life Situations</span></h3> <p>Life is full of ups and downs. Stress, hassles, and setbacks happen (but hopefully not too often). How we react to life's struggles matters a lot. A person's outlook can contribute to depression&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 16.8px;">&mdash;</span>&nbsp;or it can help guard against it.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Research shows that a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/power-positive.html/">positive outlook</a> acts as a protection against depression, even for people who have the genes, brain chemistry, or life situations that put them at risk for developing it. The opposite is also true: People who tend to think more negatively may be more at risk for developing depression.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">We can't control our genes, brain chemistry, or some of the other things that contribute to depression. But we do have control over how we see situations and how we cope.</span></p> <p><span>Making an effort to&nbsp;<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/optimism.html/" style="line-height: 16.8px;">think positively</a>&nbsp;&mdash; like believing there's a way around any problem &mdash; helps ward off&nbsp;depression. So does developing coping skills and a support system of positive relationships. These things help build resilience (the quality that helps people bounce back and do well, even in difficult situations).</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Here are three ways to build resilience:</span></p> <ol class="kh_longline_list"> <li><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;"><strong>Try thinking of change as a challenging and normal part of life.</strong> When a problem crops up, take action to solve it.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;"><strong>Remind yourself that setbacks and problems are temporary and solvable.</strong> Nothing lasts forever.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;"><strong>Build a support system.</strong> Ask friends and family for <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/help-obstacles.html/">help</a> (or just a shoulder to cry on) when you need it. Offer to help when they need it. This kind of give and take creates strong relationships that help people weather life's storms.</span></li> </ol> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.4em;">Being positive and resilient isn't a magic shield that automatically protects us from depression. But these qualities can help offset the other factors that might lead to trouble.</span></p>¿Por qué se deprime la gente?La depresión afecta a personas de todas las edades, situaciones económicas y razas. Aunque la depresión sea frecuente, sobre todo en los adolescentes, hay personas que se deprimen y otras que no. ¿Por qué?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/teens/why-depressed-esp.html/acc9aeb0-c2e7-46a4-85fb-81f78240107a
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DepressionDepression is very common. For more information about depression and feeling better, check out this article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/depression.html/313901c9-c72a-4f03-831b-94ab61da2856
Stress & Coping CenterVisit our stress and coping center for advice on how to handle stress, including different stressful situations.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/center/stress-center.html/31890be1-2161-48bf-9246-74d3be74d3b3
Talking to Parents About DepressionIf you feel depressed, you need to reach out for help and support. Read our tips for teens on talking to parents about depression.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/talk-depression.html/e9b2e976-c37c-4c41-82c4-90e6bffaf1ad
Why Do I Feel Depressed When I Have My Period?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/period-blues.html/73a0d59b-7f79-4b97-b6ac-285afdc464b8
kh:age-teenThirteenToNineteenkh:clinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthBrain & Nervous System (for Teens)https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/diseases-conditions/brain-nervous/ee2d02ce-26e8-4685-bc9a-073e3d484ee5Handle Negative Emotionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/best-self-center/handle-negative/d40d00d1-38bf-4db4-a354-6871536ddb79Feeling Sadhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/your-mind/feeling-sad/1af91770-d414-425e-9bb0-88cb92d114d2Mental Healthhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/your-mind/mental-health/134e1f49-4b13-460b-832d-a0b04e611574