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Usually there is no one single cause of depression in children and young people.Often it is a combination of a reaction to stress factors outside themselves and their own individual chemical make up.This biological depression is often inherited and is particularly likely if there is a clear family history of depression.Depression can also arise after a physical illness and, sometimes, alcohol or medications can change the body's chemistry and lead to low mood.The outlook for most youth with depression, however, is good.
Shy, withdrawn teenagers, for example, may feel more isolated and alone than their more outgoing peers.
They also may find it harder than others at seeking support when pressures and stresses become difficult to handle and this may lead to them experiencing depression.
Depression may be triggered if the stress gets too hard to bear or goes on for too long.
Particular events, such as the loss of a friend or the change in seasons, especially from autumn to winter, may be the reason for depression in a number of people. The mood-switching mechanisms in their brain may be out of balance.
The earlier a young person experiencing depression can talk to someone who can help them access treatment, the better.
There are some good online tests, like this one self test, to see if you or your child are depressed.