A depression diagnosis isn’t always easy to recognize, especially in adolescents. The teenage years are swirling with hormones, drama, assignments, college applications, socializing, and more–all those things together can create a perfect storm of teen angst. But what about when it’s more than teen angst?
That’s when things get more complicated. Many parents struggle to recognize the signs that their child may have a depression diagnosis. This doesn’t mean they’re incompetent, it just means there needs to be more awareness and more ways developed for identifying it earlier on.

New tech may help in recognizing anxiety & depression diagnosis

In a new study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, researchers have found a way to use the Stampede supercomputer to help identify an anxiety and/or depression diagnosis. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, which makes it a huge priority.

While we have many working ways to recognize and treat depression/anxiety, those ways can always be improved. This study aimed to figure out whether it was possible to identify depression before onset through brain imaging.  Head of the study, David Schnyer, decided to use the Stampede supercomputer “to train a machine learning algorithm that can identify commonalities among hundreds of patients using” MRI brain scans along with other types of data.

The researchers discovered that they could identify a depression diagnosis with 75 percent accuracy–which isn’t perfect, but is definitely a start. They hope to greatly improve that number. For now, it could certainly be applied as a way to show the risk a person has of developing or dealing with depression at some point.
Christopher Beevers, director of the Institute of Mental Health Research at UT Austin and researcher in the study, explained why this information is so important:

“Not only are we learning that we can classify depressed versus non-depressed people using DTI data, we are also learning something about how depression is represented within the brain…Rather than trying to find the area that is disrupted in depression, we are learning that alterations across a number of networks contribute to the classification of depression.”

Any new nugget of information that helps us better understand depression and how it functions is critical for developing more effective and efficient methods of treatment.

If you believe your child may be struggling with a depression diagnosis, it’s essential to reach out to a professional for guidance.

blueFire Wilderness can help your family

blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program for teens. We help troubled teens, ages 11 to 17, grappling with depression, ADHD, addiction, defiance, and other emotional or behavioral problems.
We understand that this is a difficult and confusing time for the whole family, but we’re here to guide you through it. At blueFire, we strive to help each client find their inner confidence and succeed.
For more information about how we help a depression diagnosis at blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.

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