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While medication has its place in the treatment of mental health conditions, it’s not always the best or preferred option. This is why getting your child into therapy as soon as possible is so important. Psychotherapy can help provide effective skills and problem-solving strategies to help children and adolescents cope with problems in a variety of daily-life situations. Many experts believe that the best approach to treating depression is to use both antidepressants and psychotherapy, especially because the stakes are so high with depression.

Like it or not, for some conditions such as bipolar disorder, medication is usually a first line of treatment, as dangerous mood swings or delusional thinking often don’t respond well to counseling.

Finally, exercise and proper nutrition can play a valuable role in coping with certain mental health conditions. It’s important that your child not rely on medications as a substitute for healthy habits.

Editor’s note: This section was written by Ricardo Whyte, MD. © 2018 Ricardo Whyte. All rights reserved. Used under license.

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