How to help students from failing high school due to depression?

This post answers: How to help students from failing high school due to depression? What are some reasons for high school students to experience depression? What is depression? What are the symptoms of depression?  What are the causes of depression? What are the treatment options for depression?

How to help students from failing high school due to depression?

Some ways to help students from failing high school due to depression are:

Seek professional help

It is best to seek professional help when high school students experience depression. This helps the therapist to work with the students during the initial stages and help them manage their challenges and difficulties such that they can avoid failure at high school.

Students can consult the various counselors and therapists available in school or also consider the other references and recommendations given by their mentors and other health care professionals to seek appropriate help at the necessary time.

Get to know the student’s school background

In many cultures, high school students are considered to be mature enough to handle their challenges and demands at high school. 

However, when parents see their students failing at high school due to depression they must be well aware of their mentors and peer circles to understand what is accelerating their mental health condition or even causing it at first. 

This might require the parents to be open about their child’s mental health concerns with the mentors to work with them collectively for the benefit of the student.

Focus on the grades

Students’ parents and guardians must keep a close lookout on the student’s grade and other activity levels at high school. Failing at high school does not happen overnight rather it takes place gradually with decreased levels of interest and participation.

When parents can keep track of the child’s downfall it is more convenient for them to help them through the difficult times from the very start rather than getting them help when things are already at their worst.

Ask for modifications

Many universities provide facilities for students battling mental health conditions. Parents must make maximum use of such provisions and ask for modifications for their children when experiencing depression. This helps students to feel less overwhelmed and scared.

Keep a tap on daily routines

Students and their parents must keep a tap on their daily routines to avoid failure at school due to depression. Depression is not just caused due to a particular reason but there could be various other triggers that are accelerating the condition. 

When parents keep an active tap on the student’s routine it becomes easier to identify what is triggering the students and heightening their sense of depression further making it easier for them to make the relevant changes.

How to help students from failing high school due to depression?

Encourage social interaction

It is very important that students suffering from depression in high school are encouraged and motivated to socialize. It can start small with small family gatherings or interacting with close friends and then move on to bigger groups like classroom peers. This helps individuals in various ways such as a sense of belongingness and decreased isolation further enhancing their mood, behavior, and overall performance.

What are some reasons for high school students to experience depression?

Some reasons for high school students to experience depression are:


Research indicates that students who have a family history of mental health concerns are more vulnerable to suffer from depression than those students whose families did not show a history of mental ailments.

Traumatic experiences

One of the major contributors to depression amongst high school students is traumatic experiences ranging from minor to major. In this for some individuals who are sensitive incidents such as low grades in exams, humiliation can lead to isolation and depression while in major cases some strong individuals might also experience depression when faced with the loss of a loved one due to death, separation of parents or difficult intimate relationships.

Pressure from parents

High school students are very vulnerable to experiencing high levels of stress due to the pressure created by their parents in terms of their performance and goal achievements. 

Many students likely isolate themselves also experience depression due to the overwhelming feelings and expectations from their parents.

Lack of supportive school environment

Bullying is considered to be one of the major reasons why students might experience depression in high school. Many students speak about it openly while others succumb to it and experience low moods and even suicidal ideations and severe cases. This is accelerated in the absence of a supportive circle and attentive mentors.

Past negative experiences

Another reason why high school students might experience depression is due to various negative experiences they have had in school. This might be in terms of the peer group, the mentors are also their performance.

Inability to cope

Every student has different ways to cope. Students who lack appropriate coping strategies are more likely to experience low mood and sadness for a prolonged period than those who are well equipped with measures to deal with their challenges and difficulties at high school.

What is depression?

Depression is one of the most common serious mental health conditions that negatively impact how an individual feels and thinks.

Depression is associated with feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in daily activities, and drastic changes in the energy level and the daily routines of an individual.

Depression in itself can lead to other physical and emotional problems which can be detrimental to a person’s functioning.

The symptoms of depression can vary from individual to individual from mild to severe depending on various factors.

Studies indicate that depression affects about 15% of adults every year and one in every six people experience depression at some time in their life.

Although depression can occur at any age it is more common among teenagers and early adults. Research indicates that women are more vulnerable to depression than men.

What are the symptoms of depression?

The characteristic symptoms of depression are:

  • Feelings of sadness or depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in activities enjoyed in the past
  • Changes in appetite leading to weight gain or weight loss
  • Changes in sleep patterns with very little sleep or long hours of sleep
  • Decrease in the level of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feeling guilty
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • In severe cases thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms of depression must last up to two weeks and cause significant impairment in an individual’s daily functioning to meet the diagnosis of depression.

 What are the causes of depression?

Depression can be caused due to several factors such as:


Age might be an important factor in understanding the severity of depression in people. Reports indicate that elderly people are at higher risk of depression than the.


Another very common reason for individuals to experience depression is a conflict that can be internal or external. Many individuals are biologically vulnerable to high levels of conflict falling prey to depression more easily.

Major life events

Many individuals might also experience depression due to major life events such as the death or loss of something very personal.


Reports indicate that women are more likely you get depressed the reason for this is not explained in much detail but it is believed that the hormonal changes that women experience might contribute to their higher likelihood of experiencing depression.


Certain over-the-counter medications might also lead to depression in many individuals such as isotretinoin interferon-alpha and corticosteroids.

Serious illnesses

In many cases, depression occurs as a comorbid condition with other illnesses that individuals are experiencing be it physical psychological.

Substance misuse

It is found that about 30% of individuals with drug abuse and misuse are diagnosed with clinical depression.


Individuals who have a history of depression in their family are more likely to experience depression than those who do not. This indicates that depression can be genetic to some extent like many other I kept disorders.

What are the treatment options for depression?

Depression though widespread is one of the most treatable mental illnesses. About 90% of people with depression respond well to treatment.

Some possible treatment options for depression are


Antidepressants are very commonly prescribed by doctors to individuals with depression. These medications are not sedatives or tranquilizers. They generally do not have any stimulating effects on people who do not experience depression.

Antidepressants usually show their effects within a few weeks. However, in cases where patients do not see any improvement after several weeks, they can alter their doses based on the suggestions provided by their health care practitioners.


Psychotherapy is also called talk therapy. It is used as a single mode of treatment for mild depression or for moderate to severe depression along with antidepressants.

Psychotherapy might involve the individual alone or other related individuals for instance the family of the concerned person.

Depending on the severity of depression psychotherapy might take a few weeks or much longer for significant improvement

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy where the therapist actively focuses on problem-solving. This is done by helping individuals replace their negative thoughts with more positive ones.

Electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy is a treatment model that is commonly used for patients with severe and major depression who usually do not respond to other lines of treatment.

It involves brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.

Patients receive electroconvulsive therapy two or three times a week for a total of 6 to 12 sessions.

Self-help and coping strategies

Apart from therapy and medicine individuals can also carry out some self-help coping strategies such as carrying out regular exercises, getting sufficient sleep, indulging in pleasurable activities, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol to reduce their symptoms of depression


Research indicates that it is the teenage and young adult population that are experiencing high levels of mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety. Experiencing anxiety and depression can be very overwhelming further impacting a person’s performance at work or school.

Experiencing depression can be crippling and can lead to prolonged failure in high school putting students in the back seat. In such cases, students must actively seek professional help and also talk to their parents or teachers regarding their concerns and resolve their triggers before it gets significantly damaging.

Many high school students might not speak about their emotions and feelings due to the stigma associated with mental health concerns however the high school students need to understand that they are the owners of themselves and must take responsibility for their overall well-being.

Frequently asked questions: How to help students from failing high school due to depression?

Can failure in school cause depression?

Many reports indicate that a failure in school can act as a primary source of depression amongst many adolescents.

What percent of high schoolers have depression?

It is found that about 20 to 30% of adolescents show symptoms of depression.

Does depression make students skip school?

Depression can be a major cause of school refusal amongst many students.

How does depression affect high school students?

High school students experiencing depression might show poor academic performance and resilience.