Has Your Child Been Checked For Depression?
Doctors should start screening for depression at age 11, pediatricians say
For most parents, checking for signs of depression in their children isn’t something you think about. However, according to the revised preventive-care recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, children as young as 11-years-old should be screened for depression during well-child visits. And because depression is linked to higher risk for teen suicides and murder, doctors are saying this is a necessary measure. “One in five kids will, at some point in time, meet the criteria for depression,” says Doctor Joseph Hagan, a professor in pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.
For many, it seems like an odd recommendation especially for children, but with bullying on the rise, which contributes to depression, it may not be as horrific as it initially sounds. Changes to the guidelines, published yesterday online in the Pediatrics Journal states:
“If depression seems likely after asking suggested questions, doctors should assess its severity and make appropriate referrals to a social worker or psychologist for further evaluation and treatment.” Additionally, depending on the case, a pediatrician might prescribe antidepressants.
It seems like a safe way to prevent unfortunate situations caused by depression from occurring. What are your thoughts?