Teenage depression is quite prevalent but unfortunately treatment for teenage depression is not as common as it should be. According to one research about 80% of the teens suffering from depression do not take treatment.
To achieve successful treatment, cooperation between the teenager, parents and the doctor is essential.
Research has shown that if the patients are given enough education then the compliance rate (the number of patients who do not quit the treatment) increases. Moreover the relatives of the patients can pick up signs and symptoms in themselves and consult health professionals at the right time.
If the treatment is started at the right time about 90% of the patients improve within 2 years of time. However in some percentage of the patients the symptoms may reoccur. The treatment of teenage depression has three main components:
It is a broad term and comprises of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy and supportive therapy. The CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and the interpersonal therapy are currently the evidence based approaches.
The patient and their families are taught about the nature of the disease. Their understanding of the problem is increased. They are taught how to manage the stress and relationships. The patients can then effectively fight depression and overcome the symptoms. Read more on psychosocial treatment
The main medicines which have been used in the treatment for teenage depression are TCAs ( Tricyclic antidepressants) and SSRIs ( selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) Fluoxetine, is a drug which belongs to the group of SSRIs and its use is supported by numerous studies. Read more on pharmacological treatment.
It consists of the use of both, the psychosocial therapy and the pharmacological-therapy together.
It is a general recommendation to start with the combination therapy as an initial treatment.
There was a study conducted named Treatment for Adolescent Depression Study which compared the results of psychosocial therapy (CBT), pharmacological therapy (fluoxetine) and the combination therapy. It was found that the best results were achieved by the combination therapy.
Electroconvulsive therapy is another treatment option which is left for resistant cases.
Besides these treatment options there are some natural ways to cure the disease. Research has shown that omega 3 fatty acids have beneficial role in the treatment of depression.
If teenage depression is not treated it will drastically affect the quality of life, performance at school, interpersonal relationships. Untreated teens are have high risk of committing suicide.