Teenagers are prone to depression, thanks to wonky sleep cycles and roaring hormones. Worse yet, they lack the life experience to even realized they're depressed -- attributing their blues to the sort of desperate hopelessness they think only they can feel. And, yes, teens who are depressed do need treatment because they're at an increased risk for suicide.
But suicidal tendencies aren't easily explained. When confronted with the realities of a teenager's self-inflicted death, most people are quick to assume it was prompted by depression. But that's simply not true. For many teens, the idea to attempt suicide is caused by fleeting emotions -- not the kind of major sadness that lingers. They simply want a quick escape from a situation that feels really sad or impossible to deal with. The impetus behind their suicidal thoughts could be lots of different things, ranging from shame to fear of rejection.