Depression in Late 20s (7 ways to cope)

Today’s blog post will focus on ‘Depression in Late 20s’. We begin with briefly understanding depression and then shift our focus on the major life transition that is the late 20s. After this, we take a look at some factors that can trigger depression in the late 20s. Lastly, we look at strategies and techniques that can be helpful in aiding us cope with depression in late 20s. 

Depression in Late 20s

Late 20s are the period that may make a person feel depressed. There can be a number of reasons for this to happen. It is primarily triggered by transitioning into adulthood in the real sense and facing major obligations.

Here are some of the causes on depression in late 20s:

  • Not fully prepared to be on our own
  • Confusion
  • Quarter life crisis
  • Comparisons
  • Friendships
  • Biological factors
  • Lifestyle factors


Depression is a major mood disorder that is characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anger, irritability, isolation and a loss of interest in daily activities. 

It can be triggered due to a variety of factors such as family history of depression, genetic factors, trauma and abuse, substance use, brain structure and major life events.In addition, major life transitions can also trigger depression, no matter how significant these transitions may be. 

Studies have suggested that individuals are likely to experience depression for the first time between the age of 18 years to 24 years.

One such life transition that can potentially trigger depression are the late 20s. These are the times where a person experiences a number of biological and psychological changes, increasing their vulnerability. It is also a time where a person experiences maximum losses.  Depression in late 20s can occur due to a  number of factors. It is a prime period where depression can get triggered as stress levels increase to a great extent and the person’s positive emotional response decreases, as result of which, they may not be able to cope with the stress. This stress takes a toll on their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Factors that can trigger depression in late 20s.

Some factors that can trigger depression in late 20s are:

  • Not fully prepared to be on our own:

The late 20s are often the beginning years where the person has to be away from the cocooned atmosphere of the family and of the educational institutes that have been an important part of life. In the late 20s, when we are completely on our own, the initial days may feel blissful with independence, but soon would start missing the support that was available to us all these years. 

  • Confusion:

The late 20s is a period for a lot of people where they do not know their exact standing in life. That is, like in adolescence, where a person is confused as he or she may sometimes be treated like a child and sometimes like an adult, the late 20s are no different. Especially if the person is unmarried and does not have children, he or she is again likely to be treated like a child or as an adult circumstantially, which can be confusing and can lead to an identity crisis.

  • Quarter life crisis:

Depression in late 20s can also be triggered by a quarter life crisis. This period involves a person taking some major decisions, pertaining to their career and life in general. Quarter life crisis may occur when the person experiences anxiety and feels as though there is no direction to his life. It is a period of insecurity, doubt and disappointment about one’s career, relationships and life choices. 

  • Comparisons:

Comparisons mostly commonly occur when one’s counterparts are going ahead with making certain major life decisions. This comparison can lead to self-doubt, a question on one’s self worth and also on self-esteem. 

Usually social media is the major way through which the comparison takes place and then we start to analyse our position in life in comparison to others.

  • Friendships:

Because the late 20s are a time where major transitions in terms of marriage, career and further education may take place, there is a high possibility that old friends and social connections may get lost. This lack of social support that had been an integral part of the person’s life can often trigger depression in late 20s.

  • Biological factors:

Recent studies have found that the frontal lobe, which is the area of the brain responsible for decision making,planning and reasoning does not fully develop till the mid 20s and the mid and the late 20s are also the times where major decisions are made. This combination where decisions need to be made despite not having a completely developed cognitive capacity, can trigger depression in late 20s.

  • Lifestyle factors:

The mid and the late 20s are the time where people are likely to have an unhealthy lifestyle marked by alcohol consumption, smoking, drug use, erratic sleep and eating habits can also trigger depressive symptoms.

Apart from depression, these factors can also lead to several other issues such as body image issues, eating disorders, anxiety, drug and alcohol addiction as well as increased susceptibility to physical health issues. 

Dealing with depression in late 20s:

A few strategies can be implemented to deal with depression in late 20s

One of the major reasons we may feel depressed in the late 20s is wanting to achieve a lot in a very short span of time. This also accompanied by a rigid mindset as the contemporaries are likely to get ahead of us. 

However, it is also necessary to take into consideration certain practical issues such as the career path that is chosen, the current income, the future plans etc. On the basis of these it is important for the person to set long term goals that are relatively flexible so that the aims can be achieved without getting worked up about them.

  • Keep contact with family and friends:

Even though the person may have moved away from home for work or relocated due to marriage, keeping communication with friends and family helps the person ensure that there is constant social support available to him or her. The first indication of depression is social isolation and that can make keeping contact with family difficult. But taking conscious efforts to maintain contact can indeed be beneficial.

  • Exercise:

Exercise of any form can be useful in beating the blues. It can be in the form of light workout such as walking, stretching, yoga or running. It can also be in the form of a heavy workout such as cardio, weight lifting, aerobics, crossfit etc. Exercise plays a crucial role in promoting an energy boost.

To achieve the goals and figure out the life plan, a person needs energy which can only come from a healthy lifestyle consisting of proper sleep patterns and a healthy diet. Smoking, excessive alcohol and drugs should be restrained as much as possible. 

Depression in late 20s can be quite overwhelming, with other multiple responsibilities at hand. In such a situation, talking to a professional can indeed be helpful as it can help a person gain perspective, help them make healthy and adaptive life choices and also give them scope to learn new behaviours and thinking patterns within therapy that they can then apply in the real life situations. 

  • Take a break:

It is absolutely okay to take a break to figure out the direction of one’s life. One need not feel left out or alone as they chose to step back and try to put things in perspective. It is important to remember that life goals and transitions are not a race that a person has to undertake but should be carefully planned decisions.

Lastly, it is important to remember that transitions are never easy. It is always accompanied by friction and discomfort. If a person is unable to deal with the discomfort, then it can definitely trigger symptoms of depression that can make things more difficult for him or her. It is also important to understand that no one needs to figure out everything at once. The person may take as long as he or she needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions:Depression in Late 20s

What age is considered late 20s?

The age span between  26 years to 29 years is considered as late 20s while the age between 24 years and 25 years is considered as mid 20s and age between 20 years to 23 years is considered as early 20s. 

Which age group has the highest rate of depression?

In the US, women between the age of 40 years to 59 years have the highest rates of depression that is; 12.3%. This report was given by the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention. In other age groups as well women are likely to have higher rates of depression as compared to men.

Is it normal to develop anxiety in your 20s?

Generalised anxiety disorder can be a result of genetics as well as life experiences such as history of substance abuse and other mental health conditions such as depression. Depression and anxiety develop in the late 20s along with other disorders.

What depression does to your brain?

Depression can lead to an enlarged and hyperactive amygdala, abnormal activity in other parts of the brain and sleep disturbance. It can also cause hormonal fluctuations.

What kind of depression qualifies for disability?

Major depression has been included in the Social Security listings as an affective disorder, which means that if your illness has been diagnosed by a qualified medical practitioner as major depression and is severe enough that it hampers your working and other areas of life, then it can be accounted for as a disability.


Today’s blog post focused on ‘Depression in Late 20s’. We began with briefly understanding depression and then shifted our focus on the major life transition that is the late 20s. After this, we took a look at some factors that can trigger depression in the late 20s. Lastly, we looked at strategies and techniques that can be helpful in aiding us cope with depression in late 20s. 

I hope this blog post did justice to helping the readers understand the causal agents of depression in late 20s along with certain practical strategies that can be used to cope with depression. Please feel free to drop your comments and queries below.