Doctors: All Teens Should Be Screened for Depression Yearly
On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines to recommend that children 12 years and older get screened annually for depression. The screening would take the form of teens filling out a self-reported questionnaire via paper or an online device, allowing them to answer questions privately—important given that many young adolescents go to the doctor with their parents in tow and in the examination room. It’s a huge step in not only de-stigmatizing mental health but also helping address mental illness in its earliest stages, potentially easing later symptoms. “Sometimes teens are acting out or misbehaving,” a co-author of the report told NPR. “[I]nstead, they’re really suffering from depression.” Research cited by the guidelines indicates that only 50 percent of adolescents with depression are currently diagnosed in their teenage years.