Understanding Mood Disorders in Teens

Does your teen have a mood disorder? Mood disorders are a group of mental health problems. 

Teen mental health problems ranging from depression to bipolar disorder are known as mood disorders, or affective disorders. In any of these disorders, a serious change in mood shapes your teen’s emotional state.

Types of teen mood disorders


With teens, some of the mood disorders are more common than others. Major depressive disorder is one of the most prevalent that causes your teen to be irritable or sad (depressed) mood that can last for at least two weeks. Many teens will also lose interest in their hobbies or activities they used to love.

Bipolar disorder is another common mood disorder in teenagers. It involves extreme shifts between depressed and elevated moods, such as the high-highs and low-lows in their personality.

Persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia is another common mood condition that causes an irritable or depressed mood for one year. When they can’t control their behavior and are persistently irritable, they could have disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.

Symptoms of teen mood disorders

Symptoms vary according to the type of mood disorder. Overall signs of a mood disorder may include:

  • Difficult behavior
  • Family conflict
  • Sadness
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Difficulty in school (can’t focus)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Risky behavior, defiant
  • Severe temper outbursts, anger, rage
  • Suicide ideation
  • Headaches, stomachache, fatigue
  • Loss of friends, struggles with relationships

Some teens experience racing thoughts or fast speech that they can’t control. If you believe your teen is suffering with a mood disorder it’s important to have them professionally treated before the behavior escalates.

Treatment for teen mood disorders

Teen mood disorders can be treated with evidence-based treatments, especially with early recognition of the problem. Treatment can help manage the episode, reduce the severity of symptoms, and help to prevent future episodes. It can also enhance your teen’s normal growth and development and improve his or her quality of life and relationships. 

Many teens who receive early and adequate treatment for their mood disorder may improve significantly and keep their condition managed with ongoing intervention or support.

Also read:

Why Behavior Therapy Helps Troubled Teens

Is Therapeutic Boarding School Effective?


If you have exhausted your local resources and treatment isn’t working at home, learn more about the benefits of behavior modification programs for teen help and mood disorders. Contact us today for  a free consultation.


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