Depression / Teen Mood Disorder (TMD)

The teenage years can be difficult years as your teen adjusts to hormonal physical and emotional changes, peer pressure, and responsibilities at school and at home. It is therefore normal that your teenager may appear moody, and argumentative. However, it is important to be aware that there may be other factors at play. If your teenager is generally sad and ill-tempered, this may also be due to depression/teen mood disorder (TMD). Some of the symptoms of TMD are:


Teens with adjustment disorder may display certain symptoms and signs during or after the occurrence of the stressful event. The disorder normally subsides within six months of the stressful occurrence. However, if the teen continues to experience tormenting stress as a result of the initial occurrence, there could be long-term effects.

Psychological symptoms – These symptoms include impulsive and defiant traits, as well as a highly anxious demeanor. The teen may be constantly sad, desperate looking, and often cries. Teens with this disorder are withdrawn, unfocused, with low self-esteem.

Physical symptoms– Teens with this disorder are insomniacs, always feeling tired with body pain/aches. They may experience muscle twitching, as well as digestive issues.

  • Gets irritated over small things
  • Frequent bursts of anger
  • Limited enjoyment and lack of peace
  • Hates to socialize
  • Regularly craving sweets, junk food and unhealthy carbohydrates
  • Unstable mood with trait of defiance
  • Hyperactive
  • Unfocused, reckless, and impulsive behavior
  • Suicidal tendencies

Other, less obvious symptoms may include:

  • Restlessness, feeling of nothingness, and loss of memory
  • Body aches and lower back pains
  • Complete lack of interest in normal activities
  • Feeling insignificant
  • Overall fatigue and lethargy

Causes of Depression / TMD

Depression / TMD may be triggered or caused by any number of factors, including – unsatisfactory school performance; inability to compete with peers; setting unrealistically high expectations; social issues; sexual anxieties; and inter-family relations.

Is Depression / TMD an Inherited Disorder?

Studies have found that teen depression can be genetically inherited from family and is prevalent in those teens whose parents have encountered similar problems themselves.

Diagnosis of Depression / TMD

There are no physical diagnostic tests that can measure and diagnose teen depression or TMD. The diagnosis is therefore based on patterns of symptoms gained through observation, interviews and psychological tests of the individual as well as his/her family members. Mental health professionals are aware that often depression / TMD exists alongside other mental health issues or substance abuse. This creates a complex diagnosis and requires a careful treatment plan to address the root issues and allow for sustained long term healing.

Treatment of Depression / TMD

There are a number of treatment methods, both medical and therapeutic available to treat this disorder. Often mental health professionals will prescribe a course of medication including anti-depressants, together with a course of psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that may include the involvement of family members as well.

Treatment at Hillcrest

Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center (Hillcrest) is a tranquil, rehabilitation oasis expertly designed to treat adolescents struggling with depression and TMD. The magnificent residential facility is based in the tropical foothills of Agoura Hills, California. Rustic, yet elegant, it is uniquely situated and designed to provide and nurture healing on all levels, while focusing on the key principles of mind-body health.

Clients participate in 3-5 weekly individual therapy sessions. Evidence-based clinical therapies are complemented by holistic and creative therapies to provide a well-rounded rehabilitation experience that is bespoke and successful.
Clients are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings through daily journaling, and embrace new options, experiences and open-minded views, all the while guided by committed and stellar mental healthcare professionals, therapists and counselors. Due to the quality staff on board, Hillcrest clients are able to establish strong positive rapport and connections to expedite healing and cement comfortable communication and respect. These healthy relationships allow for ongoing progression and recovery both during and post treatment.

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