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How Can A Depression Screening Save Lives?

In February 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines for diagnosing and treating depression in teenagers. According to the new guidelines, all teenagers at twelve years old or older should be annually screened for depression. October is National Depression Screening Month, encouraging parents and teens to seek out depression screenings for the earliest intervention possible and begin the healing process of treatment.

Teenagers are notoriously moody as their social lives, academic lives, and hormonal lives are rapidly changing. Too often, the stigma and stereotype of the “moody” teenager get in the way of parents recognizing what is a legitimate mental health issue. Depression does not always live on the surface- meaning, even the happiest, successful, thriving teenager may be living with troubling, deeply painful emotions which cause them tremendous amounts of emotional stress. Without intervention and treatment, depression can lead to a variety of problems for teenagers, including substance abuse, problematic relationships, and difficulty developing necessary life skills for success later in life.

Buzzfeed News reported on the release by the AAP, citing that “As many as 2 in 3 teens with depression are not identified by primary care providers, and only 50% of adolescents with depression are diagnosed before they reach adulthood.” NAMI, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that over 3 million adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 had at least one depressive episode in 2016 and 60% of those young people did not receive any treatment.

Millions of children are living in emotional distress, trying their very best to cope with difficult feelings, difficult experiences, and the rest of their teenage lives.

Trauma is a common cause for the development of depression. For teens, the experience of living with untreated depression and all of the untreated symptoms of untreated depression can be extremely traumatizing.

One of the greatest risks for teenagers with any untreated mental illness is suicide. By obtaining a diagnosis and starting the journey to recovery, teenagers are cared for, seen, acknowledged, and more importantly, given the help they need to live with depression or put their symptoms of depression into remission. If you are having thoughts of suicide, know you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you or someone you know has struggled immensely with trauma, help is available. Call The Guest House Ocala today for information on our residential treatment programs for trauma, addiction, and related mental health issues. 1-855-483-7800