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July 3, 2007

Mental Health

Question from San Antonio, Texas, USA:

How can you help your teen with depression due to diabetes without resorting to potent antidepressants?

Answer:

You may benefit from reading the book entitled Diabetes Burnout by William Polonsky, Ph.D., published through the American Diabetes Association. Also, psychotherapy (especially cognitive behavioral therapy) has strong evidence to support its effectiveness for depression. I would strongly encourage you to seek such counseling for your son. If his symptoms do not improve, he may also need medications. Although you express concern about such medications, many people benefit greatly from the use of antidepressants in conjunction with psychotherapy.

JWB