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Group Therapy Might be Better than Medication for Teens


Posted on Sep 15, 2013

Many teens today suffer from depression. This often arises from issues at school such as peer pressure and teasing. Parents often take their children to a psychiatrist or psychologist where the child is prescribed medication. But is this really the best solution?

Reuters delves into the causes and solutions of teen depression in this new article. The article focuses on a new study that explores the benefits of group therapy for teens with depression. There are many causes of teen depression such as the pressures of school however teens can also inherit depression from their parents according to the study. But regardless of the cause, group therapy has proven to be a great remedy.

The study found, “A reduced risk of depression nine months after the cognitive behavioral therapy sessions began. The new results show that risk was still reduced two years after they ended.” The study also found that teens receiving group therapy versus those receiving medication were doing better and experiencing decreased levels of depression.

Group therapy is considered a better alternative to medication for various reasons. Medications given for depression, such as Paxil, are often addictive. When a patient wants to discontinue a medicine such as Paxil they go through a severe withdrawal period and often end up relapsing; thus patients on such medication usually end up taking the medication for the rest of their lives. Also, every drug has side effects, which is why in any case where medicine can be avoided or replaced with therapy then that is considered the best route.

The fact that group therapy has shown to have lasting effects on those involved is considered a great new development. One doctor told Reuters, “The current study is one of very few recent studies to extend that finding to 33 months, a very exciting and hopeful development.” A psychiatry professor from Columbia also gave Reuters positive feedback pertaining to the study, “Cognitive behavioral therapy is a very effective treatment so it wasn’t surprising to see it work for prevention.”

 

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