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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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