Epidemiologic studies indicate that severe and disabling mood disorders affect one in forty children and one in twelve adolescents at any point in time. Suicide, a frequent complication of a serious mood disorder, is the third most common cause of death in adolescents. These statistics indicate that mood disorders are tragically common and potentially fatal conditions affecting our youth. What is particularly disturbing about these findings is that mood disorders of children, in contrast to most other pediatric disorders, are poorly understood, under-diagnosed and therefore inadequately treated.
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© 2001 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.