Test Teens For Depression, Says Government Panel


A government panel recommends that all teenagers be screened yearly for depression.

An estimated 2 million teens in America — or 6% — are depressed, and most don’t receive treatment. A pediatrician can diagnose depression using a questionnaire, and the panel says such questionnaires should be used even for teens who don’t exhibit obvious symptoms. “You will miss a lot if you only screen high-risk groups,” said panel chairman Dr. Ned Calonge. Having a familiar doctor perform the screening might make it feel less stigmatizing for teens, and catching depression early can help prevent “persistent sadness, social isolation, school problems and even suicide.” Sounds like a good idea. [NYT]

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