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For your child or teen in mental and emotional distress or crisis, treatment can mean the difference between a normal life and a limited ability to function. In extreme circumstances, it may even be the difference between life and death.

The serious conditions we’ve discussed (major depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder) all require treatment. For some conditions this might include various forms of psychotherapy or talk therapy.

Still, sometimes talk therapy isn’t enough, and medication may be needed as well.

Medications may be prescribed as a first line of treatment. At other times they’re used simply as a way of helping your child get to a mental or emotional state where he or she can best respond to psychotherapy. Your doctor or mental health professional may recommend talk therapy, medication, or both, tailoring the treatment to the individual needs of your child for the best results.

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