Treatment Options for Teenagers with Depression

According to most clinicians today, depression is caused by a combination of biological, social and psychological factors. Because of the varying factors that go into the causes of depression, there are several treatment methods that have different levels of success. The most successful treatment options are generally the ones that target multiple causes of depression, instead of focusing on one. It is not uncommon to have medical professionals utilize more than one treatment option, such as combining psychotherapy with medication, or medication with self-help. This article will focus on the most common treatment methods for depressed teens, and will study the pros and cons of each treatment option for teenage depression.

Psychotherapy to Treat Teen Depression

There are several different kinds of therapeutic approaches that are currently being used to treat depression. The most common form of therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This form utilizes a combination of behavioral and cognitive principles. This focuses the thoughts and behaviors that are associated with the root cause of the patient’s depression. Other psychotherapy options include interpersonal therapy, rational-emotive therapy and family or couple therapy.

Medications for Treating Depression in Teens

With advances in today’s medicine, new medications are being introduced to help treat depression. Most of these prescribed medications are referred to as antidepressants, which when taken as directed by your physician or psychiatrist are safe and effective. This method of treatment takes time and patience. Most medications have their effects felt within 6 to 8 weeks, but not all medications work for everyone. Some individuals may need to try out a few different medications before finding the one that works best at controlling your teen’s depression symptoms.

Self-Help Treatment Methods

Self-help is generally overlooked by medical professionals because it does not involve them. There are many community-based support groups that are devoted to helping depressed individuals help share their experiences and feelings. Self-help books are another helpful way to treat depression. Many patients have expressed that they were encouraged to try out new skills that these books help teach them. Along with books and help groups, the internet community can also be an extremely helpful resource. Talking with someone online who has gone through the same types of symptoms can be extremely beneficial, showing the patient that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

These are the recommended treatment methods for depression, but in no way is this a complete list of all of the treatment options. There are other options such as electroconvulsive therapy, and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, which are considered more extreme options to turn towards when the other options fail the individual. Specifically for the teenage years, therapeutic boarding schools such as Turning Winds Academic Institute have also had great success in helping treat teenage depression. Whatever method you choose to utilize when beginning to treat your teen’s depression, make sure you do the proper research to see which treatment option best suits your specific case.