thought to be caused by an imbalance of chemicals called
neurotransmitters that send messages between nerve
cells in your brain. Some of these chemicals, such as serotonin, help regulate
mood. If these mood-influencing chemicals get out of balance, depression or
other mood disorders can result. Experts have not yet identified why
neurotransmitters become imbalanced. They believe a change can occur as a
response to stress or illness. But a change may also occur with no obvious
There are several things known to increase the chances
that a young person may become depressed.
Depression runs in families. Children and teens
who have a parent with depression are more likely to develop depression
than children with parents who are not depressed.
Experts believe that both inherited traits (genetics) as well as living with a
parent who is depressed can cause depression.
children and teens may be linked to stress, social problems, and unresolved
family conflict. It can also be linked to traumatic events, such as violence,
abuse, or neglect.
Certain thinking patterns and coping styles may make some children and teens more likely to develop depression.
Children or teens who have long-term or serious
medical conditions, learning problems, or behavior problems are more likely to
Some medicines can trigger depression,
such as steroids or narcotics for pain relief. As soon as the medicine is
stopped, symptoms usually disappear.
Alcohol and drug abuse may trigger depression in children and teens.