Blood Tests Diagnose Depression? New blood tests to diagnose depression may lead to better treatment and less stigma. Diagnosing teenage depression the way it’s done now — by letting teens take the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and asking them to describe their own symptoms, and then relying on psychiatrists to interprete these — can be tricky since mood swings are normal during the adolescent years.
But diagnosing depression in teenagers is urgent because these youngsters are highly vulnerable to the mental disorder: Teenage years are the prime time for depression to start and rates of major depressive disorders jump from two to four percent in pre-adolescent kids to 10 to 20 percent by late adolescence. On top of that, untreated depression in teens puts these children at greater risk for suicide — and for a lifetime of social difficulties, substance abuse and physical illness.