assessing mood disorders 1

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Mood problems often constitute a primary reason why parents seek professional help for their children or adolescents. Most often, mood problems include irritability, sadness, or anger. A certain amount of moodiness and impulsivity is normal during childhood and adolescence; therefore, it makes it exceptionally difficult to diagnose children and adolescents with conditions such as clinical depression or bipolar disorders. One of the most challenging elements in counseling is objectively assessing whether a child or adolescent has a mood disorder. Cultural and family factors are one reason this is challenging. At times, these factors are directly the cause of the mood disorder or contribute to the stress or distress of children and adolescents. Therefore it is important to use a systematic, objective, and dispassionate procedure for gathering data about children and adolescents when conducting assessments.

For this Discussion and subsequent Discussions, consider these questions: a) Where does the child’s or adolescents problem originate from, and b) Does the problem stem from the child or adolescent, or is it the family or other factors? By asking these questions, you can more accurately assess a child’s or adolescent’s problems and create evidence-based interventions to address the right problem effectively. Select a case study in this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the child’s or adolescent’s presenting problem and where the presenting problem may originate.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the presenting symptoms of the child or adolescent in the case study you selected. Then, explain one possible reason the child’s or adolescent’s problem exists and why. Finally, explain one intervention you might use to address the child/adolescent or parent/guardian in this case study. Be specific and support your response using the Learning Resources and current literature.

References:

  • Flamez, B. & Sheperis, C. J. (2015). Diagnosing and treating children and adolescents: A guide for clinical and school settings. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    • Chapter 9 “Depressive Disorders”
  • Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2007). Tough kids, cool counseling: User-friendly approaches with challenging youth (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
    • Chapter 4, “Rapid Emotional Change Techniques: Teaching Young Clients Mood Management Skills”
    • Chapter 8, “Assessment and Management of Young Clients Who Are Suicidal”
  • Gutierrez, P. M. (2006). Integratively assessing risk and protective factors for adolescent suicide Click for more options . Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 36(2), 129–135.
    © 2006 by BLACKWELL PUBLISHING. Reprinted by permission of BLACKWELL PUBLISHING via the Copyright Clearance Center.
  • Pirruccello, L. M. (2010). Preventing adolescent suicide: A community takes actionClick for more options . Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 48(5), 34–41.

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