PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Depression: Getting Treatment

Over the past few years, doctors have made lots of progress in dealing with clinical depression, and they now believe that almost all people who suffer from it can be helped.

One important way that doctors fight depression is through medicines called
anti-depressants. There are many different kinds of anti-depressants, and each one works a little bit differently. These medicines are not right for everybody, but if your doctor decides to try them to treat your depression, they can make a big difference. They are not "happy pills" that magically turn you into someone new, but they can help balance out the chemicals in your body and, hopefully, take away some of the worst parts of sadness or anxiety.

Another very important part of treating depression is therapy. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors are men and women trained to talk to people about the things that are bothering them, and help them find ways to work out their feelings. By talking about your feelings, you will begin to understand them more, and once you understand them, you can begin to control them better or get past them. A therapist is someone who will listen when you have things to say and try to answer any questions you might have about what you're dealing with.

Therapists are people you can trust, who you can talk to about anything and everything that's on your mind. Because they have lots of training and experience, it's likely that they've already dealt with other kids who have gone through the same thing. Whether you understand what's causing your depression or not, talking about it is key to getting better.

It sounds so simple, but it's true. Doctors often suggest regular exercise as part of treatment for depression. Why? Exercise -- and that's ANY kind of exercise that gets your body moving and heart pumping -- helps release "good" hormones to the brain which will boost someone's mood. Talk to your doctor about how this can help you with depression. Of course, exercise also helps you feel better even if you're just feeling a little sad or down. It's one of the quickest and easiest ways to bounce back from the blues!

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