Health professionals and scientists believe that a new blood test may become an effective tool for diagnosing severe depression in young adults and teenagers. Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences Dr. Redei explains that the blood test can differentiate teens and young adults with depression from those who do not suffer from it. The research team looked at 26 blood indicators for depression and anxiety. Dr. Redei and her colleagues tested the indicators in fourteen teenagers who were not depressed and fourteen teenagers with untreated depression. Out of 26 blood indicators, 18 were linked to anxiety and depression and 11 were linked to depression. The research team believes that the study findings are important, but the new test is not ready for clinical use. The researchers are currently working on another project that will help them assess the accuracy of the findings. In the view of Dr. Redei, an objective blood test will tell physicians that there is a genetic, physical explanation for depression. This will allow children and parents to understand that depression is very common, is a complicated mental illness, and can be treated.
Early onset major depressive disorder, which is a mental condition, affects young adults under the age of 25. Teenagers who are diagnosed but not treated are more likely to drop out of school and take drugs. Proper, timely treatment is important because depression often continues into adulthood.
What are the signs of clinical depression? Symptoms of depression include: restlessness and irritability, decreased energy and fatigue, and feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, and guilt. Other symptoms of depression are early morning wakefulness and insomnia, difficulty making decisions and concentrating, and appetite loss or overeating. When left untreated, depression may last for years and in some cases, it leads to suicide.