Depression Can Strike Early, Undetected

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"Overall, 26.4 percent of female and 24.7 percent of male study participants screened positive for depression.

About "10 percent of females and 13 percent of males had thoughts of killing themselves." And one out of 10 had considered suicide during the previous two weeks.

"Male and female students with a history of emotional abuse were significantly more likely to be depressed than were students who did not report abuse.

"Nearly one in four students in our sample reported symptoms of depression, which makes it one of the most common treatable health problems seen in college health clinics."

Yet they aren't even being screened, at least on many campuses, much less treated. What would it take to identify students with depression? The study concludes that when students drop by a campus health facility, even for a runny nose, they should be asked two questions:

"Over the past two weeks, have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless?" And "over the past two weeks, have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things?"

That's all it would take to identify young people who need a little help. In some cases, just knowing that somebody else cares might do the trick.

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