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Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2012 Mar;35(1):181-201. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2011.12.002.

Child and adolescent depression: psychotherapeutic, ethical, and related nonpharmacologic considerations for general psychiatrists and others who prescribe.

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Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 10524 Euclid Avenue, W.O. Walker Building, Suite 1155A, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Depression is a common, recurring disorder affecting millions of youth at some point before they reach mature adulthood. Given the shortage of and uneven distribution of psychiatrists who have completed specialized fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry, a significant number of depressed youth will receive their pharmacotherapy from general psychiatrists and other prescribers with varying degrees of interest, training, and even willingness to treat children and adolescents. For general psychiatrists who will prescribe antidepressants for minors, knowledge of the training and expertise of nonphysician mental health professionals, the psychotherapies they may employ, and familiarity with school services are essential. Physicians who typically work only with adults will also need familiarity with differing ethical, legal, and regulatory issues and standards applicable to pediatric psychopharmacology. General psychiatrists, pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners, and others contribute greatly to the care of depressed children, adolescents, and their families, and many find this work to be a very rewarding part of their professional practices.

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