Identifying Teen Depression with a Quick, Simple Test

It is a known fact that teen depression has become a serious issue and so, research is taking place on a continuous basis to find out the causes for this problem and also the ways to treat the problem. This is completely justified because the number of children who are being affected by depression has been on the increase in the recent times.

New research and simple tools

One of the new researches suggests that practitioners can make use of the simplest of tools such as a pen and a paper for making their primary evaluation and assessment of teenage patients. According to this research, these simple tools may help these professionals find out if the teens they are examining have been affected by depression.

In fact, professionals and experts also agree that identification of the problem in the teens is one of the main challenges they face. If the process of identification itself is tardy, the teens may face serious health issues, they point out.

How the research was conducted

In this research that was conducted by Sharolyn Dihigo, who was a practicing nurse and also an assistant professor working for the Nursing College at Arlington that belongs to the Texas University, available research materials were examined in depth for finding out if practicing nurses and similar professionals in the primary care centers should have a process for screening for mental health for the benefit of teenage patients.


The opinion and conclusion of Sharolyn Dihigo was that simple tools like a paper and a pen can be useful for conducting a simple test known as CES-DC and this test was a reliable and quick way for determining if the mental health practitioner should recommend a teenage patient for mental-health support.

Timely treatment of teen depression gives life-saving benefits

She adds that it is important to treat teens when the treatment is needed because such timely treatment can save the life of the teens. If this test is carried out on time, parents and other family members will shed their hesitation and discuss freely about the behaviors as well as feelings of the teens affected by depression and this may help in the success of the treatment.

The findings of her study appeared on an online journal that is being specifically brought out for the sake of health-care for women.

Screening of teens for mental health issues is important

According to an estimate, 5 to 20 percent of adolescents are affected by depression, but unfortunately, many of them do not get the treatment that should be given to them. That is why several government-owned and private organizations have decided to promote screening of adolescents for issues related to mental health like teen depression in centers where primary care is given.

One of the main advantages is that this test instrument known as CES-DC is completely free. Nurses do not need any additional training for administering the screening. The test consists of 20 questions that may bring about the details like the sleeplessness and unhappiness problems experienced by the teens and young adults during the previous week.

The study involved reviewing of 14 past research efforts, says Dihigo. Jennifer Gray, interim Dean of Texas University opines that Dr. Dihigo has systematically reviewed available evidence and has identified this low-cost, effective and simple assessment and that this can be recommended because it has already been used in the clinical practice of Dr. Dihigo. Jennifer Gray further says that Dr. Dihigo has brought a difference in the patients’ lives by combining her research and her practice.

It is heartening to note that innovations like this quick and simple test are taking place for tackling the problem of teen depression in young adults.

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