Depression in Children and Teens - Home Treatment
Do everything possible to provide a supportive family environment. Love,
understanding, and regular communication are some of the most important things
you can provide to help your child cope with
In addition to having a
positive home life, staying in professional counseling, and taking medicines as
prescribed, good lifestyle habits can help reduce your child's symptoms of
depression. Encourage your child to:
- Get regular exercise, such as swimming,
walking, or playing vigorously every day. For more information, see the topic Physical Activity for Children and Teens.
- Avoid alcohol and illegal
drugs, nonprescription medicines, herbal therapies, and medicines that have not
been prescribed (because they may interfere with the medicines used to treat
- Get enough sleep. If your child has problems sleeping,
he or she might try:
- Going to bed at the same time every
- Keeping the bedroom dark and quiet.
exercising after 5:00 p.m.
- Eat a
balanced diet. If your child lacks an appetite, try to
get him or her to eat small snacks rather than large meals.
- Spend time with supportive friends.
hopeful about feeling better. Positive thinking is very important in recovering
from depression. It is difficult to be hopeful when you feel depressed, but
remind your child that improvement occurs gradually and takes time.
If you notice any
warning signs of suicide (such as aggressive or
hostile behavior, excessive thoughts about death, or detachment from reality),
seek professional help immediately by calling either your child's doctor, a
professional counselor, or a local mental health or emergency service.
Call911if you feel your child is in immediate danger.