How Does a Mood Disorder Affect a Child or Teen?
A mood disorder can cause extreme feelings of sadness in a child or teen, as well as severe mood swings. For some children and teens dealing with a mood disorder, they may also experience emotional changes, like loss of interest in activities that they once enjoyed, low self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness and emptiness. Behavioral changes are commonly associated with child and teen mood disorders, too.
Sometimes, children and teens feel tired, have trouble sleeping, and experience weight loss or gain if they are coping with a mood disorder. Kids and teens are prone to use alcohol or drugs, feel agitated or restless, and experience slowed thinking, speaking, and body movements due to a mood disorder as well.
When Is the Right Time for a Parent to Explore Mood Disorder Treatment for a Child or Teen?
Kids and teens are often unpredictable, and may experience many ups and downs in any given day. But if a child or teen displays any symptoms of a mood disorder, there is no reason for a parent to wait to seek out medical support.
To help a child or teen who may be dealing with a mood disorder, the first step that a parent can take is to schedule a doctor’s appointment. By taking a child or teen to a doctor, he or she can receive different tests to find out if a physical illness is causing mood disorder symptoms.
If a physical illness is not identified as the cause of a child or teen’s mood disorder symptoms, a psychiatric evaluation may be performed. In this instance, a child or teen can meet with a psychiatrist. Then, the psychiatrist learns about the child or teen and his or her mood disorder symptoms.