Image by Anthony Tran

Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders

In treating these disorders, the most challenging aspect is having a precise diagnosis. For instance, a Depression Spectrum Disorder and a Bipolar Disorder can manifest as anger outburst and aggressive behavior, but the medications chosen for treatment are quite different.

 

Some of these conditions can  often be mistaken with ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and/or Anxiety disorders.

 

There are genetic and environmental components that make more likely for parents to pass on the likelihood of having a mood disorder. This is an important hint when it comes to establishing the diagnosis.

 

The impact that these conditions have on academic performance and social functioning are concerning. It is also important to consider that poor academic performance and social difficulties at school can also lead to a mood disorder.

Some of the more common Mood Disorders found in children include:

  • Major Depression

  • Dysthymia

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

  • Substance-Induced Mood Disorder

Misdiagnosing the clinical picture can lead to having the wrong set of accommodations at school. This can cause unnecessary delays of behavioral and academic interventions that are more effective than medication itself.