Depression in Children: The Symptoms and Effective Treatments - Part 2
How Do You Correctly Diagnose Depression in Children?
Diagnosing childhood depression is complicated but not difficult by a medical professional. There are 4 basic stages of depression that you can be aware of before meeting with your child's medical professional.
What Are The Common Treatment Approaches to Depression in Children?
A large number of treatment strategies have been developed for the treatment of depression in children. These strategies can be done with the child alone or along with the family or in a group with other children.
There is tons of evidence to suggest that treatment for depression in children involving the whole family is most effective. This only makes sense as a child's family needs to learn how to love and support each other during a difficult time. Peer group counseling has been found to be effective for children. Play child counseling is sometimes appropriate with younger children.
(*Please note: children learn best by watching. Often parents need to learn positive social skills in order to model appropriate behaviour to their children. You may find this very humbling as a parent to discover that your child is learning bad habits from you. If so, don't get down. Here's your chance to improve your life skills for your own health as well as the health of your child!)
Curing Depression in Children Using Child Counseling
Child Counseling can be helpful in cases of normal depression and can help insure the condition does not become chronic.
Child Counseling is almost always the first treatment of choice except in cases where depressive symptoms are so severe or critical that immediate relief is necessary to restore functioning and to prevent immediate and severe consequences.
Child counseling, or the psychotherapist, can generally be considered ineffective if a trial of 3 months has not produced a measurable and noticeable improvement. A decision to change therapists or to start a medication may be necessary at this point. Several trials of child counseling may be necessary to successfully treat depressive disorders.
Curing Depression in Children Using Antidepressants
Antidepressant medications require a substantial period of time before they take effect and several trials of different medications may be necessary to find a medication that actually works.
Medications alone appear to be helpful in only approximately 50% of the cases.
However, the use of medications requires a substantial commitment for period of time up to 9 months. In some cases, a child can stop taking their medications after 6 to 9 moths without a risk of relapse. Unfortunately there is no way to know if a child will relapse of not.
Side effects are the primary reason why children stop taking their medications. The side effects of antidepressant medications can vary greatly and can have a significant or even traumatic impact on self-esteem and quality of life.
Medication is usually the second choice after a comprehensive and competent trial of child counseling. It is harder in a combined medication and child counseling approach to tell which approach is or is not helping and how much it is helping.
Child counseling can be a very effective alternative to the use of medications. However, research has found that combined child counseling and medication is often necessary and beneficial. Several trials of medications may also be necessary to successfully treat childhood depression.
Treating Depression in Children Can Be Very Successful.
Positive treatment is dependent on a correct diagnosis, correct understanding of the cause of the childhood depression, and implementing an appropriate plan of action.
Advice To Parents With Depressed Children
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