Kadvice on the Best Antidepressants for a 14Yr Old Boy

Updated on September 02, 2015
K.K. asks from Argyle, TX
19 answers

My son is 14 and his dad is dying from cirrhosis. My son is depressed. We have tried to work thru this for the past 3 yrs without meds and are now going to do meds. I know some meds are better for kids at this age than others. Can anyone tell me any advice on what they have found is the best meds? And I know it may be based on the individual, but I wanted to check.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for your answers and your advice. Yes my son is in counseling and has been for 3 yrs. I am a mama bear just like any mom and I am reaching out to all avenues I can to prepare my kids and help my kids thru this. I AVOIDED putting him on antidepressants because I too did not want to put him on something and knew he was going thru a very very hard time. However, 3 yrs is a long time to be depressed, and he was not wanting to get out of bed, and not wanting to go to school. I reached out to advice here, but trusted my mommy gut most, and went straight to the doctor. We are starting zoloft today. I am hopeful he will have some much needed help. Please only post positve comments as they are the only ones that are helpful Thanks!

Featured Answers


answers from Washington DC on

the best antidepressants for anyone are the ones prescribed by the psychiatrist treating that individual person.
what works for anyone is not what's best for the next person.
what someone says is best on the internet is never what should be done for a depressed teenager.
MP is great for many things. when it comes to medicating depressed teenagers, it's about the worst place you can possibly go for advice.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Which ever one that works will be the best one for him but you're going to have to work with a doctor to find out which it will be.
You may have to try several before you hit the right one.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Columbia on

Learn the difference between grief and depression. Your son in grieving.

Does your son have his own therapist to talk with privately (without you in the room)? Preferrably one who specializes in kids who are dealing with grief, dying, and death?

I wouldn't give my grieving teenager antidepressants. I'd work my hardest to ensure that he is able to feel his feelings and work through them. Id do my best not to feel the need to "fix" him, and instead be there and as supportive as possible in validating his feelings during this tough time. I would probably seek counseling for myself so I could be more effective in helping him to navigate through the impending loss of his dad.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It is normal for a child to be depressed that his father is dying. No amount of drugs are going to fix that. Grief is something we all have to go through, if we live long enough. You will not be able to medicate your son out of feeling this loss or being "depressed" about it for a while. This is his dad.

Hugs to your son and your family.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My husband's doctor suggested my husband take an antidepressant when our son died. We both thought that was ridiculous. Of course we were devastated and grieving. It would not have been normal if we weren't after losing our son.

Sadly, grieving is a normal part of life. Unless there are other things going on you have not mentioned, I can't imagine putting my child on an antidepressant to help deal with the death of a parent. IMHO, drugs would only delay the healing process.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I bet your doctor knows, ask him.

Sorry but I have had kids on some pretty strong stuff before, no way I am telling you, oh yeah, ask for this stuff!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Do not get medical advice from this forum, please. This is your son's brain chemistry you are addressing... only professional advice should be considered. Work with your son's doctor and a psychologist to find an answer to this question. I would not trust the vox populi with my child's medication choices.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I agree with Christy Lee that there is a difference between grief and depression. Your son should be talking with a therapist and/or his doctor and they should decide if medication is needed.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Is your son in therapy?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Please ask your son's doctor about this, and his therapist (I hope he's in therapy!!!)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm so sorry for what your son is going through, and you too.

You should work with your doctor, or a team (primary care/psychiatrist). This is a highly individual question based on your child's size/weight, other medical issues or medications, how he sleeps (some antidepressants can be sedating, which is good for someone who doesn't sleep but bad for someone who is tired all the time), and what form his depression takes (whether there is anxiety, for example).

But you should know that 2 different teens can have totally different experiences with the exact same medication. Please don't take advice from friends or strangers on the internet or Dr. Google. Work with the doctor, and absolutely get a second opinion if you are not sure. But stopping a medication or cutting back on it because of something you read or some bad experience that someone else had can have potentially disastrous effects.

I think your son has dealt with depression for long enough - 3 years is an eternity. He may not be on them forever, and they are great help to so many people. I am off mine now, happily so, but they helped me through some difficult times.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

I agree with what everyone else is saying, you need to find a psychiatrist who deals with teens. He also needs counseling, this is probably situational depression and the meds could help him for awhile but that counseling should be ongoing for a few years. I am so sorry for how hard this is on you and your son. Blessings....

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I'm sorry about your son's dad.

It's hard to give advice about this kind of thing on here, because we don't know your son's general health, what kind of support he's getting (a psychologist, a therapist, your family's pastor or priest or other religious leader, for example?).

Who has suggested medication? A teen psychiatrist who deals with grief counseling will be the best person to consult. A psychiatrist is able to prescribe meds if they're necessary, whereas a psychologist or therapist is not able to prescribe meds.

A psychiatrist, because he or she is a medical doctor, will also be able to gauge your son's general health. If your son is not taking part in activities, is not eating well, is not socializing, is not getting some fresh air and exercise, for example, the doctor will be able to address all these concerns. He or she may refer your son to a support group, or suggest that your son take karate lessons, take steps to improve his own situation through eating better or walking daily or journaling, or whatever is needed to help your son deal with his very difficult and challenging situation. He or she may refer your son to a family doctor for an assessment of his electrolytes or other blood levels, along with his general health condition, in order to make the best psychiatric medication recommendation.

Medications depend on the person's weight, lifestyle, ability to comply with instructions, medical conditions, etc.

My best piece of advice, after years of experience with a teen - now a young adult - who has been on multiple medications, including antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, etc., is to develop a good relationship with one pharmacist. Believe me when I say that the pharmacist can be your best ally.

A pharmacist who is regularly available, whether he or she works in a small pharmacy or a major chain pharmacy, can help you immensely. The doctor may say "take one of these a day" but the pharmacist will tell you "don't take these with this food or this drink" or "make sure to take these at the exact same hour every day" or "you'll notice this at first but it will decrease" or "it might take 3 weeks to take full effect" or "no, your son should not take that because he also takes _____, so let me call the doctor and discuss a safer alternative", or "that's a perfectly normal side effect and it's harmless" or "stop taking it immediately and get to the ER". I've encountered all those and more. Get on board with a good pharmacist and ask questions.

I hope your son gets the help he needs.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I like the many others have said in terms of trying therapy first before medication.. Thing is.. if we stuff those feelings of sadness, they only manifest themselves in other ways.. don't delay the grief or one day it will delay you.. by that I mean.. that which we don't deal with now as it arises has a way of holding us back.. it's heartbreaking to deal with death, esp for a child, but if given the proper support and moreover, outlet for dealing with his feelings, then your son will learn how to cope.. .
when growing up, often we don't learn how to cope, instead we learn how to push back feelings.. I think the best way out is always through.............. work through the feelings..
good luck and blessings to you

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I would not go by what anyone but the psychiatrist says. Honestly, they are a mental health professional and know specifically how the drugs they use every day interact with boys this age. Please make an appointment with a professional that deals with this every single day.

A pediatrician is not the right place to go for this.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I lost my father when I was young too. Very hard. I'm sorry your son is going through this.

Was he diagnosed with depression? because whoever diagnosed him should be able to prescribe the right kind of medication for him.

My sister started on them when she was a teenager, but it was very much a try a few of them kind of thing to see which ones worked the best and had fewest side effects.

You can have sadness and depression at same time of course, but depression is generally a lack of vitality - more like dread - even if things are going super well. Sadness is tied to an event or circumstance.

Sorry - not that helpful, but I would seek professional advice on this. Therapy or even a support group can be helpful too.

Good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

There is no universal answer, because people with depression don't all have the same brain chemistry needs. It isn't uncommon to have to try more than one before finding the best fit.

His psychiatrist (I assume he's been seeing one?) is the only person that can advise you in which to try first.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

I was on an antidepressant as a teen. And I still have the irregular heartbeat it caused to prove it. Check check and re-check the safety records of whichever one you choose. Get many opinions. If it's not proven safe over a long period of time in reputable studies (not just the CDC liar website), don't risk it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It depends on the individual. I've been on Zoloft myself and have had a good experience with it but it was more for anxiety than depression. Be sure that he is seeing a therapist so that he can sort through his emotions. If there's a chemical aspect to this, the meds will help but with his father dying, I'm sure that a lot of what he is going through is psychological and emotional. Best of luck to you both,

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