Depression and young people

Depression is more than feeling sad or down, it is a mental illness that is unfortunately common. Among Australians aged between 12–25 years, depression causes more burden than any other illness, either physical or mental. Around 1 in 6 young people will experience depression during adolescence and the rates are higher among young females than young males.

There’s no single cause for depression, but a number of factors can contribute including family history, genetic factors, personality traits, coping styles, and stressful life events – for example, difficulties with friends and personal losses.

The consequences of untreated depression can be serious. If you’re feeling depressed make sure you
get support. If you know a young person who is depressed, encourage them to get support. A range of treatments can help manage and alleviate symptoms of depression. Talking to someone you trust,
exercising regularly, eating well and getting enough sleep all help.