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Treatment options for Depression in Teens

Wondering what treatment options people know about, have tried for themselves or their kids related to treating depression in teenagers.  I know this is a vulnerable population but leaving depression untreated is not an option when it reaches a certain point.  
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Avatar universal
It depends on the level of depression you're talking about.  I got depressed and anxious when I was a teen, and at first a visit to a therapist who assured me I was acting pretty normally was a big help.  But the problem came back, and at that point I was left to my own devices; my parents and friends didn't really believe in mental illness back then and they thought people who acted depressed were lazy or trying to avoid doing things. That was not helpful.  I always think the place to start is therapy unless the depression is so bad life can't be lived or suicide is involved.  At that point, a facility might be helpful and medication despite young age might be an option, but if it's short of that, because of how many people's lives have been harmed by medication I just think therapy with a good psychologist if that can be afforded is a place to go first.  My own experience is obviously anecdotal, but I think the rest of my life might not have ended in such a horrible anxiety disorder if people who should have known better had been of more help to me.  That's my two cents worth.  But of course, that assumes it's actually depression and not something else.  Peace.
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Giving my own child medication is a rough decision to make.  It can get to the point where I'd do anything to make him feel better though.  I'm getting to that point.  We're meeting with a new psychologist. That's my preference too.  That therapy would do the trick but I'm growing concerned that we'll have to consider other options with it.  We did sort out some sleeping issues with melatonin.  I don't know if that is placebo effect or not but for the first time in a long time, he is getting some sleep at night which helps.  It's hard watching your child suffer, I'll tell you that.  I'd do anything to make it better.
I believe melatonin is a proven pharmaceutical, not placebo.  It was originally tried and it failed in studies, but they were using very high doses.  Later, someone thought to try very small doses, and it worked, at least for those who had a circadian rhythm problem.  Just keep caring, Mom.  My parents did nothing for me.  That didn't work.  Doing too much also doesn't work.  It's impossible for anyone to know where the line is.  But I wish my parents had gotten involved.  Peace.
He is on 3 mg.  We started with one quarter of a tab and kept going to 3mg.  I wish there was an easy answer.  If he needs medication, I guess I will need to research which has the greatest success for teens with the fewest down sides.  
Still waiting to figure out the best course.  Sleeping is better.  But we switched brands of melatonin and it took a few nights to get back to sleep regularly.  Is there really that kind of difference between brands or was that mental?  My sister suggested excedrin sleep.  Not sure about that but she says she doesn't feel groggy after using it and it gives her a good night sleep.   Heck, I could use that!  Ha.  I feel like the melatonin is something you don't skip doses on.  Anyway, looking forward to the new therapist next week and hoping we get some help.  While this week was less 'depressed', still very fragile and walking on egg shells around him.  I noticed that working with a tutor actually enhances his mood.  He's doing virtual tutoring for the ACT test and he sort of loves it.  He's pretty cerebral.  I do think the being out of school doing remote learning since early March impacted him and he is in a good head space when he is being academic.  Okay, that's the update.  ha
I would avoid the Excedrin if it has aspirin in it.  Or if it has alcohol in it.  Or anything like that.  Don't want to take those things too often.  Yes, different brands can be quite different.  Now, I'm guessing melatonin isn't made by very many labs out there.  Some things are only made by a few labs in the world who make all of it.  Vitamin C used to be like that.  Most amino acids used to be like that.  Now, with India and China being more involved, it might be different.  The problem with supplements is anyone can claim they make them, and really, vitamin companies almost never "make" supplements, they tell labs what they want and the labs make them.  But in today's world, with the internet and direct marketing and store brands in the drug stores and supermarkets there are a lot of supplements out there that can evade any outside organization from testing their products for purity.  So one rule is. if it's not sold on a store shelf somewhere, don't buy it, because those independent organizations that randomly go around testing stuff for purity can't get at things that are only sold on the internet or by direct marketing.  It's also not super easy to get on a store shelf at a really good health food store. and by that I don't mean stores like GNC (think they are in bankruptcy, but who isn't?).  I used to manage small really good and strict stores, and you had to get by me to get on the shelf.  That's not a whole lot of expert protection, but it's more than nothing.  If I smelled a phony or a liar, it didn't get on my shelf.  It's something.  For melatonin. sublingual seems to work better, and most people bought Source Naturals.  But again, any reputable company is probably good because it's a hormone and few labs probably have the ability to manufacture hormones.  As for taking it every night, you don't have to, no.  Melatonin isn't addictive.  It doesn't need to build up in your system.  It's naturally made in the body by your serotonin.  It works best if your problem is your circadian rhythms, which can also be affected especially in teenagers by going to bed too early.  Or too late.  Everyone has their time, but it often doesn't correspond to school and work starting times, as we live a very artificial life.  So it goes.  For me, it usually helps me to go to sleep, but not to stay asleep, but I've only had a sleep problem since I stopped the Paxil so my problem isn't your son's problem.  I do know that when I was a teenager, I didn't get a lot of sleep, and made up for some of it by napping -- often in class.  I had the ability, which is weird but true, of being able to listen to the teacher and sleep at the same time.  Right up through law school teachers would see me with my head on the desk, call on me to embarrass me, and I would lift my head up, answer the question, and go back to sleep.  They left me alone after that.  How I did that I can't tell you.  I was a very relaxed student, which doesn't really jive with being an adult with crushing anxiety, but life makes no sense.  Fortunately, in prehistoric times when I was in high school, the SAT didn't matter if you got good grades.  It only mattered if you didn't.  That was before grade inflation and advanced placement courses and all that so now you have so many people with high grade point averages the tests became more important, but I didn't have to deal with that.  I did when it came to graduate school, though.  Hope he figures this out, Mom.
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