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Pediatricians Can Cure Depression In Teens: How Therapy Can Help Suffering Adolescents

Update Date: Apr 21, 2016 05:37 AM EDT
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A study says pediatricians can cure depression in teens through cognitive behavioral therapy. These teens that received the therapy recovered faster and their chance to recover is higher compared to those teen did not undergo a primary care-based counseling.

According to EurekAlert, depressions in teens are first identified mostly by primary care providers like pediatrician. However, these care providers have fewer tools to cure teen depression.

Primary care providers usually just prescribe antidepressants or refer the teen to mental health professionals. But teens do not want medications and more likely to stop taking it before it works. Teens too, are reluctant to go to a mental health professional and may take some time before getting an appointment.

A five to nine-week program has been studied where traditional cognitive behavioral therapy techniques were used by the counselors to help teens with depression to overcome depressive thinking and replaced it with more positive and realistic thoughts. It also increased the teens' good activities such as social activities by helping the teens to create a personalized plan.

The teens in the program have recovered after 22.6 weeks compared to 30-week recovery time for the teens who did not participate. Seventy percent of teens have recovered six months after the program while only 43 percent of teens that did not participate recovered.

"This study shows that youth who refuse antidepressants can still be successfully treated in primary care using cognitive behavioral therapy," said the lead author and depression researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore, Greg Clarke, PhD.

"We know from previous studies that when kids aren't depressed, they do better in school, are less likely to have sleep and substance abuse problems, and ultimately graduate high school more often," added Clarke.

The study they made is the first study to see the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in primary care to treat teens with depressions without taking antidepressants.

One in 12 teens are suffering from depression each year and less than half of them are properly diagnosed and treated, MarketWatch reported.

While some think that the symptoms these teens show are associated with their typical mood swings or normal stresses, these symptoms might be a sign of a more serious problem. As a result, many teens with depression struggle with suffering that leads to school failure, social difficulties, poorer physical health, and worst, suicide. Depression in teens should be diagnosed as early as possible.

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