Depression in Children and Teens - Other Treatment
Besides taking medicine, other treatment for depression includes professional counseling and electroconvulsive therapy.
St. John's wort have been used to treat depression in adults. But there is
no evidence that these therapies are safe for use by children or teens.2 They can also interfere with other
medicines, such as antidepressants.
Other treatment choices
- Types of counseling most often used to treat
depression in children and teens are:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps reduce negative patterns of thinking and encourages
- Interpersonal therapy, which focuses on
the child's relationships with others.
- Problem-solving therapy, which helps the child deal with current
- Family therapy, which provides a place for the whole
family to express fears and concerns and learn new ways of getting along.
- Play therapy, which is used with young children or
children with developmental delays to help them cope with fears and anxieties.
But there is no proof that this type of treatment reduces symptoms of
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be an effective treatment for a teen
or older child who is severely depressed or does not respond to other
treatment, although this treatment is rarely used for children and teens. Even
though it is an effective treatment for adults with major depression, there are
currently no long-term studies on the safety of using ECT.2
What to think about
The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) has approved the vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) implant for
treatment of depression in adults. This device may be used when other
treatments for depression have not worked.
A generator the size
of a pocket watch is placed in the chest. Wires go up the neck from the
generator to the vagus nerve. The generator sends tiny electric shocks through
the vagus nerve to that part of the brain that is believed to play a role in
More study is needed to see how well this works in children who have depression.