A Statement from Thomas F. Anders, M.D., President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Washington, D.C., February 6, 2007 –The clinical research on pediatric antidepressants is important to produce improved treatments. Untreated, pediatric depression can lead to problems in school and with friends, to accidents, to substance abuse, and, in its most extreme cases, to suicide. Youth living with depression need a thorough evaluation and comprehensive treatment from an appropriately trained professional. Some antidepressant medications, when monitored, can be an effective part of the treatment for pediatric depression. In conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of talk therapy, they have been demonstrated to significantly contribute to recovery. It is important to note that each treatment must be tailored to the individual child or adolescent and that not all depressed youth will benefit from medication.