Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Computer Game to Treat Depression

Depression in teenagers can be devastating, and it's more common than you think.  Recommended options for treatment include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, other forms of counseling, and anti-depressant medications.  Some teens are quite reluctant to see a therapist, however, and medication isn't always enough.

 A study was recently published in the British Medical Journal which evaluates the effectiveness of a video game ("Sparx") that teaches skills usually learned during cognitive behavioral therapy.  These results are very interesting, as they demonstrate the video game was even more effective than therapy in alleviating symptoms of depression.

This is new, and not yet available to the general public.  But it's exciting to think that we may soon have more options available to help depressed teenagers!