Raise your hand if you or someone you know has experienced
some form of depression recently. Yep, that’s a lot of virtual hands we’re
seeing. One in six people develop clinical depression in their lifetimes, and
most mental health disorders surface not in middle age but during adolescence.
That means if doctors can reliably test teens today, they can know what to look
out for tomorrow.
A new study shows
that a simple saliva test performed on teen boys with mild symptoms of
depression might be able to predict which of them will later develop major
depression. Researchers measured a steroid—cortisol—and discovered that those
with high levels of it as well as mild depression symptoms were 14 times more likely
to become clinically depressed in later years.
While the test was
tried on both girls and boys, it was found to be more reliable in boys,
unfortunately. Girls with elevated cortisol were only 4 times more likely than
their low or average counterparts to develop clinical depression. However, it
is unclear if the results suggest cortisol levels in girls are not necessarily
linked to depression, or if the girls studied simply developed clinical
depression at lower rates than the boys.
What do you think,
babes? If there was a simple test you could take to find out if you had a
mental disorder (or could have on later in your life), would you take it?
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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 2/18/2014 4:30:00 PM
POSTED IN mental disorders, dealing with depression, In the News