Unfortunately, some parents feel they should choose antidepressants over other treatments, which can be too expensive or time-consuming.
Unless your child is at high risk for suicide (which may require medication and / or constant monitoring), you will have time to carefully consider your options before starting treatment.
Also, therapy units for patients suffering from unipolar depression are based on elements of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Risks of using antidepressants for adolescents
In severe cases of depression, medication can help relieve symptoms. However, antidepressants are not always the best treatment option.
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They have their own risks and side effects, including a number of safety concerns specific to children and young adults. It is important to weigh the benefits and risks before starting any medication for your teenager.
Antidepressants and the Adolescent Brain
Antidepressants have been developed and tested in adults so their effects on young, developing brains are not fully understood. Some researchers worry that using drugs such as Prozac in children and adolescents may interfere with normal brain development.
The human brain is thriving in young people, and exposure to antidepressants can influence that development – particularly the way the brain handles stress and regulates emotions.
Beware of juvenile antidepressant suicide
Antidepressants can increase the risk of suicidal ideation and behavior in some adolescents. All antidepressants must have a "black box" warning label from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this risk in children, adolescents, and young adults up to 24 years of age.