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5 Therapies Teens Can Try if Antidepressants Aren’t Working

5 Therapies Teens Can Try if Antidepressants Aren’t Working
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Hey everyone, my name is Ali and I’m here today with my friend Umar to share some options for teens who are struggling with depression or anxiety but aren’t finding relief from antidepressants alone. This is a really tough situation to be in, so we hope some of these alternative therapies can provide extra support.

Therapy #1 – Exercise as Antidepressants

Umar, I know you’ve always been into sports – have you noticed exercise helps your mood at all? Studies show it can be just as effective as antidepressants for some teens. Even just going for a walk outside every day can lift your spirits. The endorphins released during a workout help combat depression and anxiety. I remember last year when soccer season started and I noticed a big difference in how I felt. Give it a try if you’re able – find an activity you enjoy like basketball, skateboarding, dancing – anything to get your blood pumping.

Therapy #2 – Light Therapy

This one might sound weird, but light therapy involves sitting in front of a special light box for a certain amount of time each day. It’s supposed to mimic the effects of natural sunlight on our internal body clocks and mood. A lot of teens struggle in the winter months when there’s less natural light, so this can help if your low mood is seasonal. Umar, do you think something like that could work for you as Antidepressants ? You always seem a bit down when the skies are gray. Give it a shot and see if it makes a difference.

Therapy #3 – Talk Therapy

I know talking about your feelings isn’t always easy, but having a therapist to open up to can work wonders. They’re trained to help get to the root of what’s bringing you down and give you strategies to cope. My counselor has me journal about my thoughts and teaches relaxation techniques like deep breathing. Talking it out with someone you trust, like a parent, friend or counselor, may help you process what’s really going on. How ’bout you Umar, think chatting with Ms. Gomez would help at all? No pressure if not.

Therapy #4 – Nutrition & Supplements

Making sure you fuel your body and brain properly is key. A balanced, healthy diet with lots of veggies, fruits, healthy fats and protein will give you sustained energy. Some studies show Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins may help ease depression symptoms too. Umar, you’ve got a sweet tooth – maybe swapping candy for nuts and seeds could lift your mood naturally. Oh, and don’t forget to hydrate! Water is fuel for your whole system.

Therapy #5 – Mindfulness Practices

Things like yoga, tai chi, meditation, Islamic gathering with Remembrance and breathing exercises can train your mind to stay present instead of getting caught up in worries. I’ve tried the Calm app before bed and it really chilled me out. Even just 5 minutes of deep breathing when you start to feel anxious can make a difference. What do you think Umar – up for some mellow stretching and zen moments? No sweaty gym gear required, I promise! It’s all about listening to your body and calming your thoughts..,..

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How long until I see results? Each therapy works differently for individuals. Give it 4-6 weeks consistently before deciding if it’s helping. Stick with exercise 3x a week, light therapy 30 minutes daily, etc. Changing multiple things at once may show benefits sooner.

What if I still feel down? Don’t lose hope – keep experimenting until you find what works best for you. See your doctor to discuss adjusting meds or trying another option like cognitive behavioral therapy. Combining things is often most effective too – don’t rely on just one tool. You’ve got this!


if prescription medication alone isn’t cutting it, these alternative therapies may provide extra support for your mental health. . Wishing both of you the very best moving forward. Let me know if any of these ideas help at all.

Umar, I hope some of these options gave you food for thought. I know it can feel daunting trying new things when antidepressants aren’t working as hoped. But you’ve got so much wonderful potential ahead of you – it’s worth keeping at it until you find your best path forward.

Other Ideas

A few more ideas we didn’t touch on: Support groups can be really empowering. Connecting with others walking a similar road shows you aren’t alone, and you may pick up helpful tips. Creative outlets like journaling, art, or music can also provide release. What about joining that hip hop dance class you were curious about ? /dare-program-effectiveness-study

Medication Options

It’s also worth revisiting medication options with your doctor. Sometimes a dosage tweak or different type is all that’s needed for relief. Or you may benefit from talking therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy in addition to meds. Your doc just wants to see you feeling your best.


If all else fails for now, be extra kind to yourself. Give heavy tasks a rest if needed and don’t beat yourself up over setbacks. You’re still learning and growing every day. This challenge doesn’t define you – you’veve got so much wonderfulness inside just waiting to shine through.

Support System

Your community is here rooting for you all the way. Lemme know if any part of the process seems unclear or if you need support finding local resources. You don’t need to go through this alone. Brighter days are ahead my friend – you’ve got this.

Hey Umar, don’t worry, I’m always here for your needs someone to talk to.

Combining Therapies

On whether to try things individually or combined – my doctor said it’s usually fine to pair a “mind” therapy like meditation with a “body” therapy like yoga. Doing them at different times of day is a good plan. You might see changes faster that way since you’re hitting it from two angles. I’d just start slow so as not to feel overwhelmed adding too much at once.

Staying Motivated

For motivation, I totally get some days are harder than others. Maybe ask a buddy or family member you trust to check in on you on those low-energy days. Even just shooting you a text like “hey man, don’t forget your light therapy today!” could help get you moving. You could also try rewarding yourself after sessions with something small like your favorite snack. Phoning a friend before or after for support could lift your spirits too.

Knowing What Works

And in terms of knowing if something is working – it’s different for everyone but some signs could be: gradual increase in energy levels, less intense low moods, better focus/concentration, improved sleep or appetite. Tell me on your progress and be sure to inform your doctor if things aren’t improving after a week or so of consistency. Never hesitate to swap it out for something else if required.

Hope these answers help provide some guidance, man. Your mental health is so important – don’t be afraid to keep experimenting until you find your best fit. You’ve got this!

Originally posted 2023-12-01 00:55:38.

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