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Complementary and alternative medicine has never been more popular.

Nearly 40 percent of adults report using complementary and alternative medicine, also called CAM for short.

Parents and carers may also need help and advice to deal with behavioural or other problems their child is experiencing.

Parents, carers and young people can receive direct support through CAMHS.

Doctors are embracing CAM therapies, too, often combining them with mainstream medical therapies — spawning the term "integrative medicine." Exactly what's considered alternative medicine changes constantly as treatments undergo testing and move into the mainstream.

To make sense of the many therapies available, it helps to look at how they're classified by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): A system isn't just a single practice or remedy — such as massage — but many practices that center on a philosophy, such as the power of nature or the presence of energy in your body.

older adult depression, complementary and alternative medicine, frequencies, National Health Interview Survey Although research has shown that depression is not an inevitable part of growing older, it does remain one of the most common mood disorders experienced by older adults (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2012b; Geriatric Mental Health Foundation [GMHF], n.d.; National Institutes of Mental Health [NIMH], n.d.).

The literature is replete with data describing both risk factors for depression in the older adult population and the multiple adverse health effects of depression.

At the same time, diagnosing depression in the elderly population can be difficult for several reasons.

This has implications for treating this population, and research suggests that many depressed older adults go undiagnosed or under diagnosed and, therefore, untreated (Lakey et al., 2012; Wancata, Alexandrowicz, Marquart, Weiss, & Friedrich, 2006).

Getting help from a specialist CAMHS service is different depending on where you live. Most CAHMS have their own website, which will have information about access, referrals and more, including phone numbers, so you can get in touch directly for detailed advice.

You may also find it helpful to speak to: If you or your child is being supported by social services or the youth offending team, your key worker will be able to refer your child for an appointment with someone in specialist CAMHS.

Analyzing Data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey Dr. Data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed to reveal the frequency of distinct CAM therapies’ use among depressed older adults, as well as subjective measurements of CAM therapy helpfulness in this population.

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