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Caring for Teens With Major Depressive Disorder

Adolescence is shaped by biological, cognitive, and social processes. Healthy adolescent development is characterized by an increased self-awareness, satisfaction, growth, and resilience. Adolescence represents a critical phase in exploration and risk-taking behaviors, formation of peer relationships, changes in family relationships, and development of identity and self-direction. Stress, hormones, unlearned resilience, and other challenges are why adolescents are more vulnerable to depression and anxiety.


In 2017, the National Institute of Mental Health reported that how many adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 experienced at least one major depressive episode?

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Boys are more likely to experience major depressive episodes.

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Major depressive disorders (MDD) impact which of the following relationships?

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Oral health professionals are in a unique position to screen adolescents for depression because preventive dental visits often occur twice a year, and even more frequently when the patient is undergoing orthodontic treatment. 

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Mental health is directly related to oral health status and outcomes; this is especially true for adolescents who are learning to assess and manage physiological, emotional, and social changes.

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Adolescents with depression are at an increased risk of developing poor periodontal health.

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Cognitive behavior therapy and motivational interviewing are appropriate techniques for use in the dental setting to reduce MDD-associated dental anxiety.

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Caring for Teens With Major Depressive Disorder
Not bad, but there’s room to grow when it comes to understanding treating teens with major depressive disorder. Consider reading more about this important facet of dental hygiene care. Good luck!
Well done! Continue to study treating teens with major depressive disorder. You’ve got this!
Congrats! You understand the importance of treating teens with major depressive disorder. Get out there and put your know-how to good use!

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This information is from the article Guide to Treating Adolescent Patients with Major Depressive Disorder by Olivia Morzenti, RDH, BS, CDHC and JoAnn Gurenlian, RDH, MS, PhD, AFAAOM. To read the article, click here.
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