Teen Depression Treatment: Teenage Depression Treatment Options


Last updated on February 7th, 2019 at 06:56 pm

Teen depression treatment – how is a teen with depression treated?

There are a number of methods that may be used to treat depression. They include:

  • anti-depressant medication;
  • psychotherapy
  • hospitalization; and
  • depending on the teen’s particular circumstances, other forms of therapy and treatment may be used such as:
    • family therapy;
    • behavior therapy;
    • stress management programs;
    • school help or counselor programs; and
    • home remedies.

The mental health care provider will determine the best course of treatment for the teen.

Anti-depressant medication

The most common type of anti-depressant medication used in teen depression treatment is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In the US, the Food and Drug Administration authority has approved of two SSRIs medication, Prozac (fluoxetine) and Lexapro (escitalopram), to be used in teen depression treatment.

In Australia, fluoxetine is the most widely prescribed drug for teen depression treatment.

Anti-depressants may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in teens with depression and a teen taking anti-depressants must be closely monitored during treatment. Other side effects include:

  • diarrhoea or constipation;
  • nausea;
  • headaches;
  • sleep disturbance;
  • dizziness or blurred vision;
  • weight gain;
  • dry mouth; and
  • sweating.

Anti-depressant medication is usually used as a last resort in teen depression treatment. For teens with severe depression, they may be used as a short-term method for reducing depression symptoms as the benefits are considered to outweigh risks of side effects of the drugs.

A large number of research trials have shown the effectiveness of depression medications in relieving the symptoms of teen depression, especially in teens with severe depression.


Psychotherapy is the main option for teen depression treatment. Psychotherapy means psychological therapy or psychological counseling and usually takes the form of talks with a mental health provider. Psychotherapy may be done one-on-one, with family members or in a group.


In some teens, depression is so severe that a hospital stay is needed. This is especially if the teen has suicidal thoughts and is in danger of self-harm or of violence.

Resource recommendations

Teen Depression Guide: Click on the links bellow for further sections of this Teen Depression Guide.

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