New guidelines aim to help pediatricians recognize depression in teens

New guidelines for teen depression

NEW YORK -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines for pediatricians on Monday to help recognize and treat depression in teens. According to the AAP, as many as one in five teens will experience depression at one point, but it can be hard for them to get the help they need.

CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula spoke with "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor about this call to action.

"We know the scope of this problem is staggering," Dr. Narula said. "Twenty percent of adolescents report a history of depression. Fifty percent go undiagnosed, and the ones who get diagnosed, about half receive the appropriate treatment."

Recognizing signs of depression in teens CBS News

Narula said pediatricians need to be trained to help identify signs of depression, because if it goes undiagnosed, it can lead to social problems, substance abuse and even suicide.

"This is about giving pediatricians more guidance," Narula said. "So it basically says that children should be screened starting at the age of 12 yearly for suicide, depression, mental health issues."

The guidelines also recommend pediatricians spend time with parents to identify risk factors and what symptoms might look like. As for social media, Narula says that can play a role.

"The research has shown us social media [and] internet screen time does play a role in increasing a risk," Narula said. "We're losing that face-to-face interaction that's so important."