Robert A. Mood swings often occur in children and adolescents with ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder ODD , developmental disorders, depressive disorders, BD, anxiety disorders, and conduct disorders. Mood swings are analogous to a fever in pediatrics—they indicate something potentially is wrong with the patient, but are not diagnostic as an isolated symptom. Mood swings in children are common, nonspecific symptoms that more often are a sign of anxiety or behavioral disorders than BD.
Are My Teen's Mood Swings Normal?
Serotonin Syndrome: 7 Things You Need to Know
A small number of children, teenagers, and young adults up to 24 years of age who took antidepressants 'mood elevators' such as bupropion during clinical studies became suicidal thinking about harming or killing oneself or planning or trying to do so. Children, teenagers, and young adults who take antidepressants to treat depression or other mental illnesses may be more likely to become suicidal than children, teenagers, and young adults who do not take antidepressants to treat these conditions. This risk should be considered and compared with the potential benefit in the treatment of depression, in deciding whether a child or teenager should take an antidepressant. Children younger than 18 years of age should not normally take bupropion, but in some cases, a doctor may decide that bupropion is the best medication to treat a child's condition.
Not all mood swings are bipolar disorder
Parents often wonder how to distinguish normal teenage mood swings and rebellions from actual symptoms of depression. I asked Dr. Nadja N. Reilly, a member of the editorial board of the Harvard Mental Health Letter , for some advice on this topic.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter a naturally occurring brain chemical that helps regulate mood and behavior, and increasing serotonin is one way of treating depression. But if you're taking antidepressant medication that increases serotonin too much, you could be at risk for a dangerous drug reaction called serotonin syndrome. Early reports of serotonin overload occurred in the s with antidepressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors MAOIs. When new drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs became widely used to fight depression , reports of serotonin syndrome increased.