Does your child often seem down, sad, or irritable and no longer interested in the activities they used to enjoy? Have you noticed a sudden drop in your teen’s energy level or motivation? Do they exhibit feelings of excessive self-blame, worthlessness, and guilt? If so, then they may be suffering from depression.
Depression is a genuine health issue, affecting approximately 3.2% of American children and adolescents. Thankfully, there are many treatments available to successfully manage depression.
Here, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to find the best depression treatment for your child.
Explore Different Depression Treatment Options
In order to find the best depression treatment for your child, it is important to explore all of the treatment options available to treat depression in children. Generally, the treatment option for adolescents with depression are similar to those for adults and may consist of a combination of medications and psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is often considered the first-line treatment for adolescent depression. Psychotherapy, otherwise known as talk therapy, is a type of mental health treatment that involves meeting with a mental health professional to talk about the negative feelings, thoughts, and emotions that may lead and contribute to depression. A pediatric mental health specialist works with adolescents to replace their negative feelings, emotions, and thoughts with positive ones.
Psychotherapy can be provided in a group environment, on a one-to-one basis, orin the presence of the child’s caregiver or parent.
On the other hand, medications for adolescent depression treatment may be considered when psychotherapy alone does not produce significant improvement. While most medications are generally considered safe for children, they can have negative side effects in some children.
Therefore, it is important for you as a parent or caregiver to weigh the benefits and risksof adolescent depression treatments before choosing one for them.
Consult Your Child’s Pediatrician
As soon as you notice the signs and symptoms of depression in your child, such as persistent sadness, loss of interest, reduced energy level, altered sleeping, and eating pattern, etc., consult your child’s pediatrician right away.
Your child’s pediatrician can perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine if the symptoms your child is showing are indicative of depression.They will assess several factors and ask various questions about your child’s symptoms, emotions, behaviors, and overall well-being. If needed, they may also use a screening tool to help determine the severity of the depression symptoms in your child.
Based on your child’s depression symptoms, their pediatrician willalso develop a personalized treatment plan which may include medications, emotional support, and alternative therapies.
A pediatrician can also provide you with education and resources on how to support yourteen’s mental health and overall well-being. They can also provide youwith necessary information on lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, healthy diet, andadequate sleep, which can have a positive effect on your child’s mental well-being.
In more severe cases of depression, your child’s pediatrician can also refer your child to a pediatric mental health specialist. Not only can theypersonally vet a pediatric mental health professional but also communicate important information about your child’s physical health, mental history, and potential medications to their mental health professional to ensure coordinated and integrated care.
A pediatric mental health specialist can assess your child’s needs and devise the best treatment plan for your child’s mental health problem, which may consist of medications, talk therapy, lifestyle changes, etc.
Adolescent Depression Treatment in Tampa, FL
If your child is showing signs and symptoms of depression and you are in search of the best depression treatment for them, visit us here at Children’s Medical Center. Our team of highly skilled and trained pediatricians can provide early diagnosis and treatment of several mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and eating disorders to teens and young children to ensure that they get timely and effective care.
We also offer a comprehensive range of pediatric services, including treatment of common illnesses, management of chronic diseases, vaccination and immunization, sports physicals, fluoride treatments, and much more.