Are There Tests That Can Help Diagnose Depression In Children/Adolescents?

Dr. Kaslow answers the question: 'Are There Tests For Depression In Kids?'

ByNadine Kaslow, Ph.d., Professor Of Psychiatry, Emory University School Of Medicine
February 27, 2008, 5:53 PM

— -- Question: Are there tests that can help diagnose depression in children/adolescents?

Answer: One type of test that can help diagnose depression in children and adolescents are self-report measures.

That's where you have children fill out a questionnaire or a form that they ask them about the various signs and symptoms of depression. You might also have their parents or their teachers or even their peers fill out such questionnaires about the child's symptoms.

In addition, we have what are called structured diagnostic interviews. And those are interviews that a trained clinician can use to ask sensitive questions to children and other people in their lives to find out about whether or not a child is depressed.

At the current time, we don't have anything like blood tests or brain scans that help us diagnose depression in children, although those may be things for the future.

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