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Depression in Teenage Boys



New member
May 15, 2019
Takamatsu City, Japan
Hello Everyone,

I have a question about depression in teenage boys. I am a father of one, but my question really relates to my own behavior, when I was in high school in the seventies. I am in a 12-step program (AA), and have been recalling and trying to deal with/figure out, a lot of my behavior in my teens, and whether it was alcohol, family of origin (home environment), or my depression to cause me to behave the way I did. I read a fact sheet about how depression in teens can often manifest itself, and I checked-off just about every box. BTW, none of my 4 siblings have developed any substance abuse issues or have any mental health problems, that I am aware of.

1. Wreckless behavior-stealing $ from my mother and brothers, shoplifting, threatening to damage a teacher's car, stealing $ from a sports club
2. Poor performance in school
3. Truancy, suspension from school
4. Fighting with siblings, especially my younger brother and sister
5. Anger, moodiness, irritability
6. Social isolation
8. Problems with parents
9. Losing jobs

I know there was not a lot of knowledge, back in the day, (seventies), of depression, and depression in teens, so I am not blaming my parents or teachers. I guess I am trying to parse out how much alcohol played a role in my behavior (I drank, and both parents were alcoholics), or if it was undiagnosed depression.

Doing the steps in AA is helpful, but it does bring up a lot of painful memories, and I have been beating myself up over my behavior that took place 40+ years ago. I have made amends to many of the people, or tried to, but I still feel a lot of guilt.

So, I would like to hear from anyone who is a parent of a teen who is/has suffered from a mood disorder, or if you yourself had one in your youth, and did not realize it...



Well-known member
Jul 6, 2020
Indiana, USA
Of the 9 items you listed my son exhibited 8 in his teen years. At age 16 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He did not get into any alcohol but there is no doubt he was depressed in those years, as well as manic at times.

There is no doubt that alcohol is well known as self medication for depression and other illnesses. You could think of your using alcohol in those years as your way to cope. Don't beat yourself up, as it seems you are heading forward.

My son is 32 now and he often talks about how he was a lot to handle. I remind him of the positives. Everyone has something in their past to regret. We learn and move on.
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