Depression in Adolescents
Adolescence is a time of immense change, and often accompanied by increased mood variability. However, teens with clinical depression experience a profound and persistent sadness, and/or disturbance in interest and ability to enjoy things. Depression is different for everyone, and may present as frequent tearfulness, changes in eating or sleeping habits, irritability, hostility, poor academic performance, social withdrawal, or apathy. Depression in teens can be very painful, and impacts the entire family.
Bipolar Disorder in Adolescents
Although it can be difficult to definitively diagnose bipolar disorder before adulthood, many people experience an onset of symptoms during adolescence. Adolescence is by nature a time of intensity and mood fluctuations; however, adolescents with a bipolar disorder exhibit discrete periods of irritability, grandiosity, and/or pressured speech and behavior, alternating with depressed mood, apathy, anhedonia, and hopelessness. Adolescents may be more susceptible to high-risk behavior during both manic and depressive episodes, and the number of untreated episodes is correlated to the number of episodes in later life. Many adolescents with untreated bipolar disorder also self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, leading to high rates of comorbidity with substance abuse disorders. Mood episodes can take a toll not only the teen, but on the entire family.