Your teenager will go through many ups and downs in their daily life. With academic expectations, extracurricular activities, family, and interactions with friends and peers, your teen can ride a rollercoaster of emotions. While frequent changes in mood are common in adolescents, extreme changes in mood can be cause for alarm. If your teen cycle from extreme highs and lows more often than other children, and if those wide swings in mood significantly affect their daily lives, they may be showing symptoms of bipolar disorder.
If you suspect your son or daughter is struggling with bipolar disorder, this article will provide the information you need to get a clearer picture of what you are seeing in your teen. This article will provide an overview of bipolar disorder in children and teens, the signs and symptoms of bipolar, and most importantly, where you can find teen bipolar treatment.
According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), bipolar is defined as a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. This disorder is marked by clear changes in a person’s mood, their overall energy levels, and activity levels. When someone with bipolar is feeling “up,” they display manic behavior and are easily agitated, euphoric, and usually have high energy levels. During the “low” points, people with bipolar will feel profound sadness, feel indifferent, and will feel hopeless.
The NIMH also states there are four types of bipolar disorder that people can experience:
No matter the type of bipolar disorder, people can experience cycles that can last for hours, days, and even weeks.
Based on diagnostic data from the National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement, an estimated 2.9 percent of teens aged 13-17 had bipolar disorder, with 2.6 percent of those affected having a severe impairment. This data also shows that females (3.3 percent) were more likely to suffer from bipolar when compared to males (2.6 percent).
The connection between teens and bipolar disorder is complex. Oftentimes, bipolar disorder in teenagers is misdiagnosed. If a teenager is in their “down” cycle of a bipolar episode, they can be misdiagnosed as having depression. The same is true for those who go to a mental health professional and get diagnosed when they are in the manic part of the bipolar cycle. Also, teens with ADHD can be misdiagnosed as having bipolar. Additionally, the significant hormonal changes that occur in the teenage years cause mood swings in short periods of time, which can lead to a misdiagnosis.
The signs of bipolar disorder in children and teens depend on whether they are having a manic episode or depressive episode. It is important to note that young people with bipolar disorder can have either a manic or depressive episode first. Not all teens who struggle with bipolar disorder display all the symptoms. Additionally, the severity of symptoms teens show depends on the type of bipolar disorder.
The following are common symptoms found in the “up” or manic part of a bipolar episode are as follows:
The common bipolar symptoms seen in the depressive cycle of bipolar include the following:
If you see any combination of the above symptoms in your son or daughter, it is important to seek the specialized help found at a reputable teen bipolar treatment center. It is crucial to get the correct diagnosis in order for your teen to get the right individualized treatment program to get them on the road to recovery. The teen bipolar treatment center that you choose will have experienced staff that have years of proven experience in dealing with the unique needs of adolescents and can work with those who struggle with bipolar as well as other mental health issues.
When your teen enters a bipolar treatment center, treatment personnel will ask you questions regarding your son or daughter’s mood, sleeping patterns, energy levels, and their overall behavior. They will also perform a comprehensive physical examination to see if there are underlying medical conditions that may be causing your teen’s symptoms. Additionally, they will see if another disorder such as ADHD, conduct disorder, or anxiety disorder are causing their mental health issues. If a bipolar diagnosis is reached, the treatment team will devise a customized treatment plan to deal with your teen’s bipolar disorder.
Therapy is a key component in a teen bipolar treatment program. With the help of experienced therapists, your teen and your family will be able to uncover the root causes of bipolar in a safe and supportive environment. Once those underlying causes are discovered, therapists will help your teen develop healthy coping skills to manage their feelings. Common therapies used to help in bipolar disorder in children and teens include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy, and family therapy.
Medications can also be of help in a bipolar treatment program for teens. When carefully prescribed and used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, medications can be effective in helping teens regulate their moods. Examples include lithium, Zyprexa, Effexor, and Celexa. However, the process of finding the right combination of medications can be a trial and error process. Additionally, since these medications have a high addiction potential, they need to be prescribed and carefully monitored by treatment personnel.
In addition to therapy and medications, bipolar treatment for children and teens may include the following:
Helping your teen cope with bipolar disorder requires immediate attention. If you are in need of teen bipolar treatment services in California, call Thrive Treatment toll-free today. Our outpatient rehab features the treatment and services your teen needs to find lasting health and happiness. Our experienced staff has decades of cumulative experience in working with teens struggling with bipolar disorders and other mental illnesses. We will work with you and your teen in designing an individualized treatment plan specifically tailored to meet your teen’s unique and specific needs.
Thrive Treatment’s ultimate goal is to give your young one the educational and therapeutic services they need to foster empowerment and self-efficacy. When your teen completes treatment, we will still provide the support they need in order for them to achieve long-term recovery. Give Thrive Treatment a call right now.