Essay on Screening For Childhood Depression : The United States
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) is supported by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and reports to U.S. Congress every year. On Feb 9th 2016, the Task Force recommended screening adolescents’ ages 12 to 18 for major depressive disorder (MDD) generally called depression. Also, the Task Force found that there was not enough evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for depression in children 11 years old and younger.
Under this recommendation, children 11 years or younger are disadvantaged for not being screened for depression and ultimately remain undiagnosed for a while. I urge everyone to look at this issue with a different lens because children age 11 years or younger also reflect symptoms of depression.
According to Academy of American Family Physicians (AAFP), in the United States, the prevalence of the major depressive disorder is approximately 1 percent of preschoolers, 2 percent of school-aged children and 5 to 8 percent of adolescents. The prevalence of depression is increasing in successive generations of children, with onset at earlier ages.
Some of them expressed clear signs of depression like anger, social withdrawal, changes in appetite and sleep pattern, vocal outbursts or crying, and so on. This is a very serious issue and requires immediate attention. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to school violence, high dropout rates, bullying, high suicide and…