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New Guidelines Issued To Fight Teen Depression, 1st Time In A Decade

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- For the first time in a decade, the American Academy of Pediatrics is issuing new guidelines on depression in teenagers.

Research shows by age 20, about 20 percent of teens said they've experienced some depression, which can affect them long term.

"It can lead to social problems, family problems. School problems...substance abuse," said Dr. Rachel Zuckerbrot, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

The goal is to help pediatricians identify depression early.

The new guidelines recommend doctors talk about mental health with adolescents and their parents and implement universal depression screening for children 12 and older.

Dr. Zuckerbrot says it's important to also keep a close eye on at-risk children.

"Those include children who have a family history of depression and other mental health issues, children who have already had an episode of depression," said Dr. Zuckerbot.

Stephanie Cardamone works with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America to raise awareness.

"I just think it's really important, no matter what someone's going through, to make sure they don't feel isolated," said Cardamone.

This will help others spot the signs and seek help.

Doctors say symptoms of depression can vary among younger people and it's important for parents to know the signs.  Those symptoms can include irritability or hostility at a young age.

Click here for more information on teen depression. 


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