Treating Depression in Children and Adolescents

It is estimated that less than one-third of children and adolescents with depression receive treatment.

Treating Depression in Children and Adolescents

This may be due, in part, due to the old belief that young people do not get depression or that it is normal behaviour for their age.

The type of treatment given will depend on whether it is a first depressive episode, the severity of the depression…

However, new studies indicate depression is a rising problem for children and adolescents, and new developments for the treatment of their depression probably will be coming in the near future.

For now, treatment for depression in young people is similar to treatment for depression in adults. The controversy lies in whether the medications for depression are safe for growing and developing children and adolescents. No long-term studies are yet available to answer this question.

The type of treatment given will depend on whether it is a first depressive episode, the severity of the depression, and the issues related to the cause of the depression, such as family conflict or academic problems.

Methods for treating depression in children and adolescents include:

  • Family education, which helps the family work as a team through the depression.
  • Professional counselling, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy.
  • Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Another therapy available to treat severe depression or depression that has not been helped by medications and professional counselling is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This procedure is rarely performed on young people.

When a child or adolescent has another illness along with depression, he or she will need to continue receiving treatment for the other illness. Tell all health professionals what medications the child or adolescent is taking and the treatment he or she is receiving.

Children or adolescents who are showing warning signs of suicide may need brief hospitalisation, for their own safety.

What to Think About when treating depression in children and adolescents

Something that is very important to think about when treating depression in children and adolescents is to involve the whole family in the treatment process. This can be very effective, especially for children and teens.

It is also very important to be mindful that sometimes parents of depressed children and teens may also be or become depressed and need treatment themselves.

The sooner treatment begins, the more rapidly the person with depression is likely to recover. Waiting to seek treatment for depression may result in a longer and more difficult recovery.

It may take 4 to 6 weeks for a medication to become effective. It can be difficult to wait during this time to see improvement in depressive symptoms. Certain medications may work better for some young people than others. For example; a child or adolescent may need to try several different medications before successful medical treatment is found.

Physical Exercise: The Way to Wellness


Have you ever gone to sleep at night, swearing you’ll go to the gym in the morning, and then changing your mind just eight hours later because when you get up, you don’t feel like exercising?

Or it’s too wet, too hot, you can’t decide what to wear. Or you promise yourself that you WILL do it tomorrow – sound familiar?

So to make it really simple for you, we have put together an exercise program that we are confident will work for anyone.

Take a look at our ==> Healthy life: your 7 days program and see for yourself!

There are many things you can do to manage Depression and / or just stay healthy:

Learn to meditate with Warwick Jones

… the combination of Vedic Meditation, for twenty minutes twice a day, with a good diet. Especially a low fat, low salt diet. And physical exercise should see a dramatic change in your health.

Vedic Meditation is one of the most powerful techniques available for reducing stress and anxiety. It is also one of the easiest to learn and simplest to practice.

If you are in Auckland (NZ) call me, Warwick Jones, on 021 532 768. Or email to find our how Vedic Meditation could help you achieve better health.

Click here ==> to find out more about Vedic Meditation