The lifetime prevalence rate of mental disorder in kids age 13 to 18 is 46% and serious enough to cause impairment in 21%. Among high school students, 14% have thought about suicide, 11% have a plan of suicide, and 6% attempt suicide. (CDC statistics)
Depression, Mood, and Behavior disorders frequently occur and if not recognized can cause dysfunction and can often have consequences. It is sometimes hard as a parent to be able to differentiate between normal childhood or teen behavior and that which constitutes a disorder.
Here are some red flags or signs of depression and mood disorders you may look for to help decide if your child or teen should be checked out by a professional to diagnose a disorder.
DEPRESSION: if there is 4 or more of these symptoms consistently present for more than 2 weeks continuously and to the point of affecting their lives.
1___ Little interest or pleasure in doing things
2___ Feeling sad for no reason, depressed, down, hopeless, withdrawn
3___ Feeling tired, sleeping more, naps, asleep in class,
4___ Feeling bad or down about self, negative, let people down, self degradation
5___ Poor appetite
6___ Poor sleep, hard time getting or staying asleep > 1/2 hr per night
7___ Trouble concentrating compared to their normal, grades falling
8___ Irritability increased above others for age, anger, out of proportion to normal
9___ Thoughts that life is not worth living, wants to be dead or thought of hurting self
MOOD DISORDER: If a child or teen has rapid entire mood shifts from depressed to normal to hyper normal, elated fast talking, impulsive, aggressive and if these occur above and beyond what would be considered normal for age, testing for mood disorder may be in order. Bipolar mania is a period of time longer than a week of an elevated mood and energy including grandiosity, significantly reduced need to sleep, impulsivity, risk taking behavior, rapid speech, mind racing, taking on new bold tasks and being hyper focused on it, as well as aggressive of explosive. These moods are interrupted with depression time periods.
SUICIDE: Because so many of our youth have been affected either directly or indirectly with someone they know who have taken their life, we need to be educated on the facts of suicide in teens. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents. Warning signs of suicide include: talking about wanting to die, feeling hopeless, trapped or in unbearable pain, and being a burden to others. It may also be manifest as increasing use of alcohol and drugs, withdrawal or isolation, showing rage or revenge seeking, and displaying extreme mood swings. It is important to note that these signs are not always the cause of suicide, as causes are often complex and multifactorial. Prevention should include restricting access to harmful and potentially lethal substances and means and access to a mental health professional. Talking about suicide does not increase the risk of suicide in adolescents. Parents, teachers and friends should openly address this issue if there is suspicion.
RESEARCH CENTER FOR VARIOUS DISORDERS
At Ericksen Research and Westside Medical we conduct clinical trials for treatment of many disorders. Some of the medications are well proven treatment options that are being studied for new indications like use in children. Some are new breakthroughs on medical treatment. If a person qualifies for a study where one of the disorders is being treated, they have a very extensive diagnostic work up by a licensed Psychologist, while ruling out other associated disorders. The testing and treatment which otherwise may be very expensive, is available at no charge and in fact there is financial compensation for time taken. The quality of treatment meets or exceeds the normal clinical experience.
Currently we have some openings for research patients in the following areas for ages 12-17.
(At a later date we will be seeing 7-11 year olds - call to get on the list)
Depression, ADHD, Bipolar (age 10-17) and Autism
If you are interested please call for more information- 801-614-5501 or 801-614-5860
Dr. Corey Ericksen Westside Medical Family Practice
Dr. Samantha Bostrom 1477 N 2000 W Clinton, Utah (across from Walmart)