What are the treatments for depression?
The first-line treatment for depressed children and adolescents is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a psychotherapeutic technique which focuses on changing negative self-defeating thought patterns, increasing positive behaviors and activities, and improving interpersonal effectiveness. For pre-schoolers and children under the age of eight, psychosocial therapy is the primary intervention used. It begins with family counseling and environmental changes.
Mostly, small children find it difficult to express their feelings and hard issues through language, hence, a play therapy is recommended for their age level. Play therapy allows the therapist to reflect and assist children in verbalizing their feelings. And through the course of the play, the therapist can also resolve the identified issues.
Children are still dependent on their family, therefore; familial involvement in the treatment process is important. Family therapy is included in the treatment to yield successful outcome. The goals of family therapy are to resolve or reduce family conflict, enhance the family pattern of communication, improve role performances, and influence positive mental health within the family.
Other than CBT, effective treatment options for depressed youth include; interpersonal psychotherapy, anti-depressant medication or a combination of non-drug and pharmacological interventions. Accurate diagnosis, suicide risk assessment, and the use of evidence-based therapies are essential for safe and effective treatment