Psychiatry and Psychological Services: Mood Disorders
The Mood Disorders Program at UT Southwestern and Children's Medical Center provides a dedicated tertiary treatment and research center for children and adolescents with depressive disorders (with and without suicidal behaviors) and bipolar disorders. The program is the only comprehensive program for the treatment of mood disorders in children and adolescents in the state of Texas.
Children with bipolar disorder are initially evaluated in the Bipolar Disorder Clinic, located in an outpatient setting. Services available through the clinic include assessment, diagnosis, medication management and weekly individual and family therapy. For children who are having difficulty functioning at home and at school, and for whom outpatient treatment has not been enough, an intensive outpatient program or day treatment program are available.
Children with depressive symptoms are seen in the Depression Clinic on an outpatient basis. Depending upon their needs patients might receive medication evaluation and management, and individual and family therapy. Some children needing higher levels of care receive services in the day treatment and inpatient programs.
Mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, depression and suicidality, are pediatric psychiatry's most prolific areas of research. Current studies include research in the areas of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, as treatments for these disorders as well as translational research, including genetics, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and fMRI studies, that examine the underlying mechanisms of these disorders.Mood disorders include depression, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and bipolar disorder, and are characterized by changes in mood including sadness, irritability or an excessively happy, silly mood. Out of 100,000 adolescents, 2,000 to 3,000 will have a mood disorder, of which eight to ten will commit suicide. It is estimated that 45,000 children and adolescents in the Dallas metroplex suffer from major depression or bipolar disorder. Of those, approximately 180 will commit suicide. Suicide accounts for more deaths in teens than cancer, diabetes, and other medical illnesses combined.