Doctors should routinely screen all teenagers for depression, a condition that affects about six per cent of American teens, according to the United States Preventive Services Task Force. The independent panel, appointed by the government to set guidelines for treatment on various health issues, advises doctors to screen even those teens who don’t show symptoms of depression; its guidelines go beyond those from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which encourage doctors to ask teens about depression. Of the roughly six million American teens who suffer from depression, most are undiagnosed and untreated, notes the Associated Press. The new recommendations, published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics, underline that early screening for depression is crucial as it can lead to isolation, school problems and even suicide.
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