How Do I Know If My Teen Has a Mood Disorder?

Mood disorders are complex mental health conditions that vary greatly from person to person. Two major ones are depression and bipolar disorder. Here are some signs and symptoms you can watch for to know if your teen needs help and support for a mood disorder.

How Do I Know if My Teen Has a Mood Disorder?

By Teen Rehab


Look out for these signs and symptoms of teen mood disorders. Talk your your teen and a health professional if you’re unsure.

  • Changes in Mood

    By Teen Rehab

    One common indication that your teen might have a mood disorder is a change in how they feel. They might express constant sadness, hopelessness or worthlessness if they are struggling with depression. Alternatively, if they have bipolar disorder, they may also exhibit signs of manic behavior.

  • Relational Difficulties

    By Teen Rehab

    If your teen is struggling with relationships—whether they are unable to form new friendships, they seek isolation, have dependency on individuals or are uninterested in their usual friend groups and activitie—then this might be a symptom of a mood disorder.

  • Physical Debilitation

    By Teen Rehab

    If you are concerned that your teen might have a mood disorder, remember to pay attention to their physical well-being as well as their emotional state. If they are unable to sleep, have lost weight or lack energy, they may have a mood disorder.

  • Challenged Thoughts

    By Teen Rehab

    One struggle that a teen with a mood disorder will likely have is with their thoughts. They may be unable to make decisions or concentrate and they may have a paralyzing fear of failure.

  • Risky Behaviors

    By Teen Rehab

    Another symptom of a mood disorder is increased risky behavior. This could include abusing alcohol or drugs as well as having sex. It could also mean thoughts or threats of suicide or self-harm. If your teen is a danger to themselves, be sure to seek professional help immediately.

  • Moving Forward

    By Teen Rehab

    If you are concerned that your teen has a mood disorder, contact your doctor for support and suggestions. Remember that your child is not bound by their mental health condition and that with appropriate strategies and help, they can live a fulfilled life.

Feature image shutterstock