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Mood disorders

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Mood disorders in adolescents typically refer to depression or manic behavior, or the combination of the two—bipolar disorder. These conditions affect significant changes in mood which negatively impact the adolescent’s relationships, his social life and his school work.

Puberty is a tumultuous time in any boy’s life. Throw in a mood disorder and it is no wonder a young man will have difficulty in and out of school and with his relationships. Some adolescents use drugs and alcohol to deal with this emotional roller coaster. Some withdraw into themselves. Neither solution adequately deals with the problem.


Depression includes major depression, minor depression, persistent depressive disorder—dysthymia—and depressive disorders peculiar to circumstances, such as seasonal affect disorder and situational depression.

Major depression can be a singular event or a recurring condition. Major depression is a debilitating illness which can completely incapacitate the individual. Major depression is often accompanied by physical pain. Persistent depressive disorder is characterized by depression symptoms which may last two years or more and include bouts of major depression. Minor depression typically does not last as long as major depression nor are the symptoms as severe. If untreated, minor depression can become major depression. Symptoms of depression include intense feelings of despair, fatigue, irritation, poor memory and suicidal ideation.

Bipolar disorder

According to Mayo Clinic, bipolar disorder affects three million Americans each year. Once known as manic depression, the disorder is characterized by wild mood swings. Manic phases are characterized by intense periods of activity. Some people with bipolar claim they do their best work while in a manic phase. Conversely, depression phases can keep the individual rooted to the couch or in bed for months at a time.

Bipolar disorder includes five subtypes: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, bipolar disorder not otherwise specified, cyclothymic disorder and rapid cycling bipolar disorder.

Treatment at White River Academy

A teen with a mood disorder is up against a lot in this world. School is a pressure cooker; hormones ratchet up the heat; add a mood disorder? Teens with depression or bipolar disorder can be helped, provided they receive the right treatment. Therapy combined with medication has proven to be the most effective treatment. Another component which promotes healing is environment.

White River Academy is a residential treatment center which specializes in treating young men with a variety of issues, not the least of which are mood disorders. Your son will receive a top-rate education, individual and group therapy and one-to-one counseling from his dedicated case manager. White River is located at the rim of the magnificent Great Basin in Utah. We balance academics and treatment with fun like horse riding, hiking in one of the most beautiful places in the country and rafting.

Call 866-520-0905 to learn more about our school and our programs.

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We would like to thank all the wonderful staff at WRA for the great parent weekend. We enjoyed it and felt that we learned valuable insights on Positive Peer Culture and the values we must have and the importance of family commitment to each other...

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