A Critical Issue: The Need for Teen Depression Treatment

teen depression treatment

A Critical Issue: The Need for Teen Depression Treatment

teen depression

Most teens who screen positive for depression don’t receive teen depression treatment. Many of the individuals who do receive teen depression treatment don’t actually have the condition. According to a recent article by the Washington Post, these are new findings from a recent study published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

What the Experts Have Found on Teen Depression

Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center and lead author of the study states:

“Over the last several years there has been an increase in prescription of antidepressants. In that context, many people assumed that under treatment of depression is no longer a common problem.”

But Olfson found the opposite after analyzing data from surveys that included questionnaires to screen for depression. Of the 46,417 individuals surveyed, 8 percent answered in ways that suggest they were in need of teen depression treatment, but only 29 percent of those who seemed to need help received any teen depression treatment for it.

“The findings highlight that there are continuing challenges in aligning depression care with patient needs,” Olfson said.

The Results of the Research

Among the people who received teen depression treatment, only 30 percent had screened positive for depression and 22 percent had serious psychological distress (patients had more-severe symptoms of depression than those with mild depression, and the condition typically requires treatment beyond antidepressants.) The study also found that those with either less serious or no depression were more likely than those with sings of depression to receive antidepressants. This clearly shows that there is a current problem with over prescription, and studies have shown that anti-depressants are no more effective for mild depression than a placebo.

Researchers found that most people with untreated depression make at least one visit annually to a primary-care doctor. If depression screening and mental health services were integrated into primary care, there would be better access to assistance and awareness about the illness, including better teen depression treatment options.

Olfson states:

“If you give them a referral to a mental health clinic, they simply won’t go if they don’t think they have a mental health disorder. By embedding the services within primary care, it becomes more accessible and less stigmatized.”

This is why it is essential to seek the appropriate help if you or your child are questioning symptoms of depression. Teen depression treatment can provide adequate treatment and answers to unknown questions about depression. If you or your child are in need of teen depression treatment, there are programs available that can help!

ViewPoint Center Can Help

ViewPoint Center is a mental health hospital for teens, ages 12 to 18. At ViewPoint Center, we provide superior assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and stabilization–all in a personalized environment for your child.

For more information about how ViewPoint Center handles teen eating disorders, contact us today at 801-825-5222!


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