It has recently been suggested that all primary care doctors, including pediatricians and family physicians, should constantly check teens for depression. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force explained that these doctors should have a system available for young people with depression in case they need treatment.
Experts believe that there is a need to screen young people between the ages 12 and 18. However, they didn’t see any reason to include children younger than 12 years old in the screening. “From a parent’s perspective, I think it’s important for them to know that depression can be relatively common in adolescence and we have ways to treat it,” Dr. Alex Krist, a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, told Reuters.
According to CNN, the USPSTF found that about 8 percent of adolescents in the United Stated go through major depression every year, but the amount of younger children suffering from depression in unknown. Individuals suffering from depression usually encounter problems at school, home, or work. Experiencing depression early in life can also mean an increased chance of the condition happening again in adulthood, risk of committing suicide, and of having other mental disorders.
Experts believe that it is not enough to wait for doctors to have the system to help individuals at risk to get the help that they need and follow up care. They urge doctors to put the system in place and screen everyone, Fushion reported.
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