Psychiatry and Psychological Services: Mood Disorders

The mood disorders program at Children's Medical Center provides a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment through the clinicians at Children's Medical Center and UT Southwestern physicians. The program offers care for children and adolescents with depression and suicidally.

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, depression and suicidally, 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 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.