Mood disorders in adolescents: diagnosis, treatment, and suicide assessment in the primary care setting

Prim Care. 2014 Sep;41(3):587-606. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2014.05.008.


The primary care setting is considered the entry point of adolescents with mental illness in the health care system. This article informs primary care providers about the diagnostic features and differential of mood disorders in adolescents, screening and assessment, as well as evidence-based psychosocial and psychopharmacologic therapies. The article also provides a framework for decision making regarding initiating treatment in the primary care setting and referral to mental health services. Furthermore, the article highlights the importance of the collaboration between primary care and mental health providers to facilitate engagement of adolescents with mood disorders and adherence to treatment.

Keywords: Adolescent suicide; Assessment; Mood disorders; Pharmacologic interventions; Psychosocial interventions; Screening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mood Disorders / therapy
  • Primary Health Care
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide / prevention & control*