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Depression in Children and Teens - Exams and Tests

Your doctor or another health professional will evaluate and diagnose depression in your child by asking questions about your child's medical history and conducting tests to find out if symptoms are caused by something other than depression. Your child may be given a physical exam or blood tests to rule out conditions such as hypothyroidism and anemia. Your child may be asked to complete a mental health assessment, which tests his or her ability to think, reason, and remember.

You may be asked to help complete a pediatric symptom checklist, a brief screening questionnaire that helps to diagnose depression or other psychological problems in children. Also, your child may be asked to take a short written or verbal test for depression.

Sometimes a more thorough evaluation may be needed to fully assess your child's depression. Interviews may be conducted with the parents or with other people who know the young person well. Specific information may be obtained from the child's teachers or from social service workers.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for depression in all children ages 12 to 18.5

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 03, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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