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Depression in Children and Teens - Prevention

It is difficult to prevent a first episode of depression. But it may be possible to prevent or reduce the severity of future episodes of depression (relapses).

  • There is some evidence that if a child receives cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in a group setting, it can help prevent or delay the onset of depression in a child or teen whose parent has a history of depression (which puts the child at greater risk for becoming depressed).7
  • Your child must take medicines as prescribed, keep counseling appointments, eat a balanced diet, and get regular exercise. For more information, see the topic Physical Activity for Children and Teens.
  • Make sure that your child has a good social support system, both at home and through teachers, other family members, and friends who can provide encouragement and understanding.
  • Learn to recognize early symptoms of depression, and seek immediate diagnosis and treatment if they occur.
  • Some schools provide educational materials and group therapy opportunities to those at high risk for depression, such as those who have family conflict or problems with peers.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 03, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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