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Mood disorders describe a range of behavioral issues that may occur in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. We will focus on mood disorders in teenagers, because in this unique population these behavioral problems may express themselves in ways that make diagnosis more difficult.

Mood disorders affect as many as 7% of Americans in any given year. The most common types are depression or mania (or a combination, known as bipolar disorder). Major depressive disorder is the most common diagnosis, and occurs twice as often in women as in men. Mood disorders are considered one of the top ten causes of disability worldwide.

Parents often miss depression in their teenagers. Undiagnosed depression can cause serious life-long problems with achievement, socialization, and health in general. The worst complication of uncontrolled depression is suicide. To learn more about the way depression expresses itself among adolescents