The following are the most common signs of mood disorders. Each adolescent may experience signs differently.
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Sleep disturbances
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Decreased energy
- Feeling sad
- Feeling anxious
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Having low self-esteem
- Feeling inadequate or worthless
- Difficulty concentrating
- A decrease in the ability to make decisions
- Feelings of wanting to die
- Suicidal thought or attempts
In mood disorders, these feelings appear more intense than the natural fluctuations in an adolescent's mood. It is also of concern if these feelings continue over a period of time, or interfere with an adolescent's interest in being with friends or taking part in daily activities at home or school. Any adolescent who expresses thoughts of suicide should be evaluated immediately.
Other signs of possible mood disorders include:
- Difficulty achieving in school
- Constant anger
- Rebellious acts
- Trouble with family
- Difficulty with friends and peers
- Impulsive, potentially dangerous behavior
Signs of mood disorders may resemble other medical conditions or mental health disorders. Symptoms may differ in younger children, and may be seen as irritable. Young children may change how they interact, withdraw or start to act out behaviorally. Some can have severe hyperactivity and impulsivity. Always consult your child's physician or mental health professional for a diagnosis.