Help for a child - we think she might be manic depressed

Patient

Q: We have a 17 year old daughter that seems to be manic depressed. She can be fine one minute and absolutely depressed the next. She gets anger easy, cries at a drop of a hat. We think she has taken pills (aspirin to try to kill the pain, too many at one time). We are trying to get her help but we don't know where to start. we have a council session set up for the 24th but we are needing help ASAP (like today). She is bad today and really want to get her on the road to recovery.

My question is where can we take her to start the road of recovery NOW?

Symptoms:  Crying depressed
Doctor

A:   Hello.
Thanks for using "Ask The Doctor" for posting your query.

The symptoms that you have mentioned suggest that she could be having a depression. The mood swings that you are describing are occurring due to an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. The neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. This condition can be corrected with the help of medicines such as fluoxetine, mirtazapine or venlafaxine. These medicines start showing improvement in 2-3 weeks and the illness requires a treatment of 6-8 months. During this period, ask her to do regular exercise and eat healthy food and try inculcating some hobby. If she is averse to medicines, then cognitive behavioural therapy can help her in the treatment of depression. This is a specialized counselling technique mastered by clinical psychologists and is almost as effective as medicine.
She will have to meet her primary care doctor and get these medicines prescribed, or she can request for a psychologist consult.

Hope this helps.
Wish you a good health.

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