Talk Therapy May Help Depressed Teens Who Shun Antidepressants


(HealthDay News) — Depressed teens who refuse antidepressants may benefit from counseling, a new study suggests.The study included more than 200 teens who were unwilling to take medication to treat their depression. The researchers found that those who tried a type of short-term “talk therapy” — known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) — were more likely to recover than those who didn’t.”High numbers of adolescents experience depression, as many as 10 to 15 percent each year — and up to one in five by age 18,” said lead researcher Greg Clarke. He is a depression investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.”Unfortunately, most of these depressed teens are not treated. As few as 30 percent get specific depression care,” he said.In many cases, depressed teens refuse to take antidepressants, “often because of side effect concerns,” Clarke said. These include warnings going back to 2004 about suicidal thoughts and behavior related to antidepressant use, the researchers said. Other common side effects from antidepressants include weight gain and fatigue.”Offering brief cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective alternative,” Clarke said. The small to moderate benefits found in this trial may be tied to reduced need for psychiatric hospitalization, the researchers noted.

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