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 child's emotional state. Unlike a normal bad mood a child feels occasionally, a mood disorder involves thoughts and feelings that are intense, difficult to manage, and persistent.
You can be rest assured that at Skooc, you and your family are in good hands.
Mood disorders can take various forms, from major depressive disorder to less common conditions, such as bipolar disorder and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.
Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder/Depression—is characterized by chronic feelings of sadness, guilt, or worthlessness.
May be irritable and moody
Complain that they're bored all the time,
Have little interest in friends and activities they once enjoyed.
Other signs include weight loss or gain, sleeping too much or too little, and thoughts of death or wanting to die.
Grades may drop, and the child has difficulty concentrating.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Because of the long duration and lower intensity of symptoms associated with persistent depressive disorder, children and those around them may not recognize that they have this condition. Many people simply grow accustomed to the symptoms.
Consistent depressed or irritable mood lasting for one year or longer
Resembles major depressive disorder but differs in that symptoms are fewer, less severe, and last longer, sometimes for years
A child or adolescent with bipolar disorder experiences cyclical swings between depression and mania, which is marked by feelings of grandiosity, excessive exuberance and silliness, and chronic, severe irritability.
Shows a dramatic change in mood and seems unusually happy or excited. He or she may talk excessively, rapidly, or loudly and change the topic of conversation frequently or abruptly.
unrealistically high self-esteem, ambition, and losing touch with reality
increased activity, increased energy, a decreased need for sleep,
During a depressive episode, a person may experience irritability, persistent sadness, or frequent crying. He or she may have thoughts of death or suicide and lose interest in favourite activities. Other signs of depression include a low energy level, fatigue, poor concentration, and a change in eating or sleeping habits.
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Occasional temper tantrums are a normal part of growing up, but if your child is chronically angry or irritable or has frequent, intense, and ongoing temper tantrums, he or she may have disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.
This condition is characterized by frequent angry outbursts that seem grossly out of proportion with a given situation.
The outbursts occur, on average, three or more times each week for one year or more. Between outbursts, children with the disorder are persistently irritable or angry.
If you notice recurring instances of a few of these symptoms in your child, we at Skooc recommend a formal evaluation.
At Skooc, we help you better understand what your child is going through. If you believe your child is struggling with a mood disorder, you can ask your paediatrician for a referral to a therapist or child psychiatrist. An accurate diagnosis of the mood disorder, as well as any other conditions, is a crucial first step in managing the disorder effectively. At Skooc, a specialist will perform a comprehensive evaluation. The evaluation may assess:
Your child's overall health and medical history
Your child's symptoms
Your child's behaviour at home, at school, and with peers
Environmental factors that might be stressors in your child's life
Input from teachers or guidance counselors about issues at school
Your child's past experiences with specific medications or therapies
Your opinion or preference for treatment options
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Next Steps and Intervention
Our team of professional psychologists at Skooc can help you and your child by providing the necessary interventions. 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 child's normal growth and development and improve his or her quality of life and relationships.
Cognitive-behavioral. This approach involves changing problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that your child may be experiencing.
Interpersonal therapy. This technique focuses on building social skills and helping children with difficult relationships in their lives.
Families play a vital supportive role in any mood disorder. Families, including parents or guardians, can learn methods to help their children manage mood and behaviour problems. The specialist may also explore potential stressors in a child's life and patterns of interaction within the family.
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