Treatment of Childhood Depression
Treatment Options for Childhood Depression -- What Does the Research Say?
A large study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) looked to compare short- and longer-term effectiveness of medication and psychotherapy for depression in adolescents ages 12 to 17. This study showed that fluoxetine and cognitive-behavioral therapy combined produced the best success rate in treating depression in adolescents; 71 percent of participants receiving both medication and talk therapy improved at the end of 12 weeks of treatment.
Medication alone was also an effective treatment; 61 percent of participants improved; cognitive-behavioral therapy alone improved 44 percent of the cases; and clinical management with placebo, 35 percent. The difference in improvement between cognitive-behavioral therapy and clinical management with placebo was too small to be considered statistically significant.
Final Thoughts on Treatment for Childhood DepressionThe best thing that you can do for a child who may have depression is to help him or her get treated as soon as possible. Never wait to get help in the hope that the mood will pass. Depression is a serious illness, but it is treatable. The most effective form of treatment for childhood depression may include both talking therapy and medication. A mental health professional can review treatment options with you to ensure the best care for your child.