Teenage depression and drug use are common problems. The teens go through a lot of stress and the struggle to find their individuality combined with typical teenage things like home, studies, peer pressure and social life can lead them to depression.

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Teenage depression is a serious mental illness that affects millions of teenagers in the United States each year.

Unfortunately, only a small portion of teens with depression ever get professional help for their struggles with teenage depression.

Teenage Substance Abuse and Depression

An estimated one-third of teenagers who suffer from depression will also have problems with substance abuse during their lifetime, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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This incidence rate makes it important to know the signs of teen depression so that you can get your child the help she needs before she starts using drugs to cope with her emotions.

Drugs can affect a teen’s mental health by triggering or worsening symptoms of depression, anxiety, paranoia, and other mental illnesses.

If your teen has these mental illnesses, his drug use may make them worse. For example, cocaine can trigger symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks, while hallucinogens such as LSD can cause paranoia and schizophrenia-like episodes.

What Is Teenage Depression?

According to The National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 11.2 percent of adolescents suffer from a major depressive disorder.

This means that 3 million teens between the ages of 12 and 17 have experienced a seriously debilitating depressive disorder.

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Sadly, only about one-third of these teenagers will receive treatment for their depression.

Teenage depression is much more than just being in a low mood or having “the blues” for a few days.

Major depression is a serious medical illness that affects almost every part of a person’s daily life.

While teen depression isn’t always easy to recognize, it can be identified and successfully treated.

Signs And Symptoms Of Teenage Depression

The most common symptoms associated with teen depression include:

  • Feeling sad or “empty” all the time
  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or helplessness
  • Irritability and frustration, even over small matters
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Change in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Feeling sad or down
  • Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
  • Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
  • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Significant tiredness, low energy, or problems sleeping
  • Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia, or hallucinations
  • Inability to cope with daily problems or stress

 

Risk Factors for Teenage Drug Abuse

The risk factors for teenage drug use include:

  • Family history of substance abuse
  • Living in a home where drug use is present
  • Having an absent parent or parents with mental illness
  • Exposure to violence. This can include child abuse and exposure to violence in the community
  • Low self-esteem, depression, and other mental health disorders
  • Association with peers who engage in substance use
  • Easy access to drugs

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Do Drugs Cause Depression In Teens?

Many teens experiment with drugs and alcohol, but few realize the risks. Teens who abuse drugs are more likely to become addicted later in life and have permanent and irreversible brain damage.

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

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How Do Drugs Affect Teens’ Mental Health?

Drugs and alcohol can interfere with the way teens experience life. It can also cause teens to act in ways they later regret, from missing school to having unprotected sex.

Drug use can also affect mental health. For example, a teen who uses marijuana might not realize that he or she has depression.

Or a teen struggling with depression might reach for drugs or alcohol as a way of dealing with his or her feelings.

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems can interfere with how well teens do at home, school, and work.

They can also cause problems with sleep and eating habits and lead to cuts on the body or thoughts of suicide or death.

Teenagers who are depressed may feel sad or hopeless most of the time, be irritable, and have trouble concentrating on schoolwork.

These symptoms often get worse when there is a change in their lives — like an illness in the family, the loss of a loved one, moving to a new place, or transitioning to high school.

What Is The Leading Cause Of Depression In Teenage?

Teenage Depression And Drug Use
Teenage Depression And Drug Use

80% of teenage suicides are due to depression.

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States for ages 15 to 44.

The major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year.

The World Health Organization has predicted that by 2020, depression will be second only to heart disease as a health problem worldwide.

The most common mental health problem affecting teenagers is not substance abuse but depression and other mood disorders (anxious, sad, irritable, or angry moods).

Although it is normal for teenagers to have mood swings and experience occasional upset, they should be able to get over such feelings quickly and return to normal functioning without major problems.

 

How Does Substance Abuse Cause Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

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Also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.

You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.

More than just about the blues, depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don’t get discouraged.

Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychological counseling, or both.

 

Dangers of Prescription Drug Addiction in Teens

Teenage Depression And Drug Use
Teenage Depression And Drug Use

Drug abuse is a huge issue for teenagers, and the problems it can cause are too many to count.

The dangers of prescription drug addiction in teens include:

  • Loss of mental sharpness.

Abusing drugs affect your brain’s ability to function properly. You lose focus, your memory is affected, you have trouble concentrating, and you lose your coordination.

  • Family problems.

Drug abuse affects many aspects of your life. Your family relationships are a big part of that, and they can suffer as a result of abusing drugs.

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  • Financial trouble.

Depending on how much money you’re spending on drugs and the damage they’re doing to your brain, you may start having financial trouble as well.

It may become harder to get by at school or work if you’re high all the time.

  • Legal problems.

If you’re caught with illegal drugs or under the influence of them, it could lead to legal troubles down the road.

Being arrested can also affect your future opportunities in life as well as cost you money on bail fees and lawyer fees if convicted.

  • Health issues.

There are numerous health issues that can arise from abusing drugs, including overdose and death.

If you use needles to inject drugs into your body, there is also the risk of contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

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Godfred Ayesu is the founder and owner of Ritual Meditations, a blog dedicated to exploring the power of ritual in personal growth and self-care. He is a Public Health Nurse by profession and an enthusiast of mental health. His passion lies in spiritual teaching and mentoring. Godfred has been practicing various forms of meditation and ritual for many years and has a deep understanding of the power of ritual to transform lives. He has dedicated his time and energy to creating a platform where others can learn about and benefit from the power of ritual. Godfred's approach to teaching is a unique blend of his medical background and spiritual understanding. He is passionate about mental health and has a deep understanding of how it can affect our overall well-being. He has a passion for helping people tap into their inner wisdom and find a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. He believes that through the practice of ritual, we can connect more deeply with ourselves, the world around us, and the divine. His approach to teaching is both practical and spiritual, providing readers with concrete tools and techniques for incorporating ritual into their daily lives, while also encouraging them to explore the deeper meaning and purpose of their practice. Godfred's goal with Ritual Meditations is to empower others to create their own meaningful rituals and to use them as a tool for self-discovery, healing, and personal growth. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the blog, combining his expertise as a Public Health Nurse, and his passion for mental health and spirituality, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to deepen their spiritual practice or improve their mental and emotional well-being.

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