Depression can affect people of all ages, but it can often start during adolescence.

Major depression often begins in adolescence, and the American Academy of Pediatrics it even supports universal screening for depression for youth ages 12 and older. Your primary care doctor can perform this evaluation.

It is important for teens to know how to recognize the symptoms of depression. Recognizing depression can help you get treatment earlier.

Sometimes depression can be masked behind the typical emotions felt in adolescence. But depression is not uncommon among teens.

Have a close relative like a father or a grandfather — with depression can increase your risk of developing it.

Research also suggests that 15-23 percent of youth live with a parent who has a mental health condition, and at least 15 million American children and adolescents have a parent living with depression.

Millions of young people around the world may be at increased risk of future depression.

So if you think you might have depression, seek help from someone you trust, like a close family member or friend, your school counselor or nurse, or your doctor.

Even a trusted teacher can help guide you in the direction you need to go. Support is available to help you cope and feel better.

It is also important to recognize the impact that the pandemic has had on us. Many people feel a bit lost in the midst of considerable changes in all of our lives.

Expert advice

It’s okay if you don’t feel good. Feeling depressed is usually unpleasant for anyone, regardless of their age. The good news is that there are some science-based treatments for managing mental health conditions like depression.

For more information about these, contact your doctor, school counselor, or psychotherapist. If you’re not sure where to start, consider calling one of the following hotlines:

Jennifer Litner, LMFT, CST