Teen Depression is defined by the Mayo clinic as a medical illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. This can contribute to a wide variety of symptoms in adolescents. These symptoms include sadness, irritability, hopelessness, worry, anxiety, anger and avoidance of social interaction. While these teen symptoms are the same as adult symptoms, many other symptoms are not, such as a drop in grades, behavior problems, issues with normal development, and ADHD. (Mayo)
Teen depression is just starting to be recognized by society as a legitimate concern in our younger generation. It is estimated that 3% to 5% of the adolescent population at any given time is suffering with depression and 20% of all people will have a bout of depression in their adolescent years. Up to 65% of these teens will also experience a less severe form of depression. These are statistics that are startling and not known by the majority of population especially teens themselves. In order for our society to address the topic of teen depression this lack of knowledge needs to be communicated to our adolescent population in a way that they can understand. (Valley)
These episodes of depression when untreated contribute to the risk of suicide and suicide attempts among adolescents. One method of increasing awareness that is starting to be used now is the use of the adolescent’s pediatrician to help screen for the possible presence of depression in their teen patients. Some tests that pediatricians can use are the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale; the Childhood Depression Inventory (CDI); and Child Behavioral Index, all of which are easy to use and score. All three of these tests are a little different and take into account various factors, which may contribute to teen depression. (Valley)
One of the reasons that pediatricians did not screen adolescents for depression in years past was that the tests to determine the presence of...