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1) What is the consensus/protocol on antidepressant use in teenagers?

Antidepressants, most commonly SSRIs, such as Prozac, are highly treatments for depression and anxiety in adolescents. Decisions on when to use these medicines in youth are driven by the severity of their symptoms. In teens mild depression and mild to moderate anxiety can often be adequately treated with only psychotherapies, such a cognitive behavior therapy. Moderate to severe depression and severe anxiety often require medication to adequately treat a youth’s symptoms.

That said---the scientific consensus and literature overwhelming shows in all cases of adolescent depression and anxiety---use of both an antidepressant and psychotherapy gets teens the best outcomes. Meaning meds plus therapy--- Teens get more better, better faster, and their symptoms are less likely to reoccurs. Subsequently, it is important to consider if medicine is appropriate in almost all cases.

2) Which antidepressants are considered the safest for teens?

These three are the best antidepressants teens.

Fluoxetine (Prozac)

Sertraline (Zoloft)

Citalopram/ecitopram (Celexa, Lexapro)

3) How to know if a teen might needs antidepressant?

Parents should look for symptoms of depression and anxiety in teens. Depression can include irritable mood, being withdrawn, excessive sleep, hopeless attitude, low energy, social withdrawal. Anxiety in youth can include excessive worry and presentation on a future event such as school work or a presentation, avoidance of social situations due to fear of judgement, or anxiety attacks.

4) What are some actionable ways to support a teen living with depression?

Best thing you can do is listen and support your teen. In a curious neutral manner—explore with them how they are feeling, what is bothering them. Make observations about their behavior and attitude. Offer validation for what they are feeling and thinking—even if you don’t agree with their assessment.

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