Mental health problems ranging from depression to bipolar disorder are known as mood disorders. Mood swings are common during adolescence owing to the hormonal changes that accompany this phase. Some teenagers have more mood changes than others. Nevertheless, at times mood swings can appear extreme and limit the teenagers’ ability to function at school and affect his/her relationships. In any of these disorders, a serious change in mood shapes your child’s emotional state. Mood disorders that go undiagnosed can put kids at risk for other conditions, like disruptive behaviour and substance use disorders, that may remain after the mood disorder is under treatment. Children and teens with a mood disorder don’t always show the same symptoms as adults. So it can be difficult for parents to recognize a problem in their child, especially since he or she may not easily express his or her thoughts or feelings.
The most common mood disorders in children and adolescents include:
Major depression: A depressed or irritable mood, lasting at least two weeks.
Bipolar disorder: Periods of persistently elevated mood followed by periods of depressed or flat emotional response. Bipolar disorder in adolescence is associated with extreme ‘ups and ‘downs’ of mood and are different than usual mood swings in the sense that there are significant changes in sleep, energy level, and the ability to think clearly.
Substance-induced mood disorder: Symptoms of depression due to drug use, the effects of a medication, or exposure to toxins.
Worried that my adolescent child might be having mood disorders:
- Does my child have trouble with family, including difficult behaviour?
- Does my child show lack of motivation or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities?
- Are there any changes in sleep or eating patterns or weight of my child?
- Does my child have frequent physical complaints, such as headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue?
- Does my child feel worthless, guilty, or lacks self-esteem?
- Does my child show severe recurrent temper outbursts?
- Does my child have increased energy or bursts of energy with racing thoughts or fast speech?
- Does my child show expressions of suicidal thoughts?
Treatments, we provide that can help your child and you: