Treatment for Teenage Depression

Some of the methods used for treating teenage depression include antidepressant drugs, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Among the drugs used to treat this condition are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as escitalopram and fluvoxamine; and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as venlafaxine and duloxetine. Two types of psychotherapy that can be useful are "cognitive behavioral therapy" and "interpersonal therapy."

An Overview of Treating Teen Depression

Teen depression is a condition that affects a young person's thoughts, feelings, behavior, and body. Depression in teenagers is not a personal weakness; it's a mental health problem. But the good news is that teen depression is treatable, especially when it is diagnosed early. Current treatment options for teenage depression include psychotherapy and/or medications.
 
When a teenager is diagnosed with depression, treatment and services should be tailored to his or her particular needs. It may be necessary for the teenager and his or her family to develop a plan of care based on the severity and duration of symptoms. This plan is best developed with the family, service providers, and a service coordinator (who is referred to as a case manager).
 
Whenever possible, the teenager should be involved in decisions. This "system of care" is designed to improve the child's ability to function in all areas of life -- at home, at school, and in the community.
 

Psychotherapy for Teen Depression Treatment

For mild teenage depression, psychotherapy is often tried as an initial treatment. Psychotherapy, or "talk" therapy, may help to determine the severity and persistence of the depression and whether antidepressant medications may be needed.
 
"Cognitive behavioral therapy" and "interpersonal therapy" are two types of psychotherapy that may be used to treat depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps a teenager learn new ways of thinking and behaving, while interpersonal therapy helps the teenager understand and work through troubled personal relationships.
 
In previous studies, teenagers who received cognitive behavioral therapy had lower rates of depression, less self-reported depression, improvement in cognition, and increased activity levels.
 
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