Pediatric Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Children who suffer from mood disorders may experience a wide range of symptoms. They may appear to have a depressed or flat affect, lack of interest in activities that were once pleasurable, display low energy, and feel irritable.

Many of the symptoms of mood disorders in children and adolescents are also present in a number of other disorders, and so a thorough psychiatric workup is highly recommended to make a differential diagnosis. Once a physical cause is ruled out and diagnosis is made, there are a variety of possible treatment options, depending on age, severity, and other contributing factors. Treatment may include medication to eliminate the symptoms caused by the mood disorder, as well as cognitive and behavioral interventions. Particularly in work with children, it is essential to establish at the outset a strong therapeutic alliance to enhance cooperation and commitment to treatment goals.