Depression can be a debilitating mental health condition for many people, making it hard for them to enjoy their hobbies and maintain their relationships. This condition also extends to children and teenagers who are dealing with academic and social pressure as well. Yet, many cases of depression go undiagnosed, especially in younger people. Parents and caregivers can help by learning how assessment tools for depression work and when an assessment is needed.
What Is Depression?
People often hear the word “depression” and think of sadness. While the condition does include sad thoughts, the effects of depression go beyond that. It involves persistent sadness that lasts for weeks, combined with a sense of hopelessness and a loss of interest in activities. Individuals can also experience major depressive disorder, a longer-lasting, persistent depressive disorder, or another form of the condition.
How Do You Evaluate Depression?
The first step to managing depression is getting a proper diagnosis. Starting with an evaluation using assessment tools such as the (CDI 2) Children’s Depression Inventory, Second Edition, this assessment uses data collected from more than a thousand children and teens of different age levels across the United States.
The data is then aggregated and averaged to allow researchers to determine patient thresholds. Doctors examine the average level of behavioral stability and cognitive function and use the assessment to compare their patient’s individual symptoms to the baseline. With the score, the doctor can then decide if a patient may suffer from depression.
With the Children’s Depression Inventory, there are different options for administering the test. There is a self-report, a teacher report, and a parent report. All these forms allow for a well-rounded and more accurate diagnosis of the difficulties a child is facing.
Because the assessment evaluates multiple symptoms, it is a more valuable tool. It doesn’t rely on any single metric or symptom to support or rule out a depression diagnosis. Here are some of the factors considered during the assessment:
- Emotional problems
- Functional problems
- Interpersonal problems
- Negative self-esteem
- Negative mood.
It is easier to provide the assistance needed to manage symptoms and improve overall function by using a well-rounded view of a patient’s condition.
What Should You Look for in an Assessment?
Depression assessment tools are only effective as their administration, especially when parents or teachers are the issuers. Look for assessment tools that are easy to read and understand for even the child or teen taking the evaluation. An assessment administered and completed quickly is also a plus. The Children’s Depression Inventory is all this and more, with report updating and progress tracking over time.
Use Assessment Tools for Depression Evaluations To Help Children Today
Using an assessment tool to detect depression in children may sound like a complicated process, but the proper assessment tools make the task easier. You can get an accurate view of a child’s well-being and begin to help them with this assessment and others by WPS.