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Childhood Depression Treatment

In this article we will take a look at the childhood depression treatment options. Depression in children as well as adults is not a one size fits all condition. Therefore, the treatment of depression cannot be the same for all people.


Only a licensed therapist or physician can tell you if your child or someone you love needs certain types of childhood depression treatment. Most mild to moderate cases of depression can start out by being treated by psychotherapy. If the psychotherapy does not help the depression a physician may prescribe an antidepressant. If depression is severe the psychotherapy and antidepressant may start at the same time.

Some studies show that cognitive-behavioral therapy may work faster than other types of psychotherapy. In cognitive therapy the child learns to recognize their negative thoughts and thought patterns. Then, behaviorally, the child is taught how to replace these with positive coping behaviors instead of giving up or falling back into negative patters. At times, children may need to continue therapy on an as needed basis depending on the therapists or physicians recommendation.

Family therapy is also an option that seems to be very successful. This can help the family deal with issues as well as the child. Because childhood depression can be hereditary, family therapy can be healthy for each individual within the family unit.

Prescription Medications for Childhood Depression Treatment

There are some very strong debates that come with this subject. Certain studies show that older antidepressant drugs are not any better than a placebo. That does not mean that some children have not responded well to these medications. Because there is a risk of heart rhythm changes in children, while on these antidepressants, doctors use EKGs to monitor the child.

The newer generation of drugs known as the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (Prozac, Zoloft, etc.) have brought new light to the treatment of childhood depression. The side effects seem to be less than those of the older drugs. While these newer drugs offer hope, parents need to be very careful. If a family has a history of mania or Bipolar Disorder, the parents should be very up front with the physician. There is always a risk that your child will have an adverse reaction or even become suicidal due to a reaction to these drugs.

Please note that this website is for information purposes only. This information is not to replace any medical advice. If you believe that your child is depressed or if you are depressed, please contact your family physician or pediatrician as soon as possible to find out what treatment is best for you.

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