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While programs specifically aimed at preventing MDD are not widespread, early interventions with children to address some of the issues related to depression have met with success. In particular, social skills training has been found to reduce symptoms of depression, perhaps by enabling children to develop the kinds of social supports and friendships that promote good mental health. Cognitive behavioral techniques that teach people to challenge dysfunctional thought patterns, such as the tendency to deny responsibility for good outcomes and to feel overly responsible for negative events, has been found to successfully reduce the rates of depressive symptoms in children and college students. In addition, psychoeducational work with parents having mood disorders has been effective in improving the adjustment of their children. Long-term follow-up of such approaches is incomplete, but these studies support the possibility that improved individual and family functioning may help to lower rates of depression in the future.

As the factors that increase an individual's vulnera- ^

a bility to depression become better understood, effective °

strategies for early intervention and possible prevention d become possible. Brief therapies that target such symp- S

toms as maladaptive thought patterns or interpersonal ess problems may lower the risk of serious mood distur- <" bances. Knowledge of the mental health implications of ^

natural or humanly caused disasters has already resulted o in much improved mental health services to communities de in need. It is realistic to expect that appropriate treatment "" will become more available and accessible to people experiencing less dramatic setbacks to their ability to function in the future.

See also Adjustment disorder; Catatonic disorder; Children's Depression Inventory (CDI); Creative therapies; Family psychoeducation; Genetic factors and mental disorders; Grief

Resources BOOKS

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th edition, text revised. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

Beck, Aaron T., M.D., and others. Cognitive Therapy of

Depression. New York: Guilford Press, 1979. Ingram, Rick E. and Joseph M. Price, eds. Vulnerability to Psychopathology; Risk Across the Lifespan. New York: Guilford Press, 2001. Martell, Christopher, and others. Depression in Context:

Strategies for Guided Action. New York: W. W. Norton, 2001.

McCullough, James P., Ph.D. Treatment for Chronic

Depression. New York: Guilford Press, 2000. Pelletier, Kenneth R., MD. "CAM Therapies for Specific

Conditions: Depression." The Best Alternative Medicine. Part II. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002. Rush, John A., ed. Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Philadephia:

Williams and Wilkins, 1998. Seligman, Martin E. P., Ph.D. Helplessness: On Depression,

Development, and Death. San Francisco: Freeman, 1975. Simonds, Susan L. Depression and Women: An Integrative Treatment Approach. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2001. Steiner, Meir, M.D. and others, eds. Mood Disorders in Women. London: Martin Dunitz Limited, 2000.


Brodaty, H. and others. "A 25-year Longitudinal Comparison Study of the Outcome of Depression." Psychological Medicine 31 (2001): 1347-1358. Nolan, Carla L., and others. "Prefrontal Cortical Volume in Childhood-Onset Major Depression." Archives of General Psychiatry 59 (2002): 173-175.

Ju Nuland, Sherwin B., M.D. "The Uncertain Art: Lightning On

IE My Mind." The American Scholar 71 (Spring 2002):


& American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 3615 S> Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016. (202) ® 966-7300. <>.

"(5 National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association. 730 S North Franklin Street, Suite 501, Chicago, IL 606103526. (800) 826-3632. <>.


National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Clearinghouse. P.O. Box 7923, Gaithersburg, MD 20898. (888) 644-6226. TTY: (866) 464-3615. Fax: (866) 464-3616. <>.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Depression in Children and Adolescents: A Fact Sheet for Physicians. <>.

Jane A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

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