Bipolar Disorder In Teens – 10 Symptoms & 2 Treatments You Should Be Aware Of

Written by Twinkle Parekh • 

Your teenage child needs extreme care, not only physically and emotionally, but psychologically as well.

You may find your teen suffering from a disorder and normally parents don’t understand what to do in such situations? One of such disorders is Bipolar disorder, which has steadily become a grave concern in United States and is noticeable at a fast pace in countries like India, where teenagers are over exposed to information on all fronts. Let us understand the nature of bipolar disorder, its symptoms, diagnosis and the possible treatment to stave off early.

Bipolar Disorder In Teens – What Happens?

A bipolar disorder, also called as manic-depressive disorder is a mental illness that constitutes episodes of an elevated mood known as mania that also alternates with bouts of depression.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness in which the patient suffers from extreme mood swings. The onset of this disorder can start as early as teens in any individual’s life. The teenagers suffering from this disorder display an erratic behavior that affects the performance at school, ability to interact with friends and family. Heredity also plays an important role in triggering this condition. If any of the parents or siblings in the family already suffers from this disorder, then the risk of your teenage child getting the same is high.

1. Manic State:

During Manic phase of Bipolar disorder, you may find your child acting abnormally energetic and happy. He may also sink into a low depressed state without reason.

Symptoms Of Manic Episodes:

The earlier you diagnose this condition in your child, the better it is. Though there is no perfect way with which a bipolar can be diagnosed, there are ways to detect the condition with symptoms, both in manic and depressive states.

Following are few of the symptoms which will help you identify if your child is suffering from manic episodes:

  • Your child is suddenly very happy and energetic and the very next instant he feels low and insignificant. The mood swings are extreme and unmanageable.
  • Sudden increase in energy level makes him sleepless for days together. Your child is constantly in a hyperactive mode which is difficult to understand.
  • Your child keeps getting distracted frequently and is unable to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes.
  • You child is constantly reactive and is yelling at you. You feel as if he had developed some sort of short fuse which keeps going off at the drop of a hat!
  • Your child wants to undertake risky adventures or activities that might be very harmful in nature.

2. Depressive State:

This is the state that immediately follows maniac episodes. Your child will undergo a whirlwind of emotions that finally culminate to a state of depressed mood most of the time.

Symptoms Of Depressive Episodes:

Watch out for the following if you feel that your child is going through a roller coaster ride unable to handle himself:

  • Your child is always sad and often crying on small trivial issues. He has no grip over his emotions.
  • Your kid has suddenly lost interest in his favorite activities. He wants to stay in his confined space out of nowhere.
  • Your child is always tired and keeps complaining of illness/pains. He finds extremely fatigued and hopeless most times even without great physical or mental activity.
  • There is a spectacular change in his regular habits; for example, your child suddenly tends to over react or eats too less. Similarly, he tends to oversleep or sleep for a very short while.
  • Your child speaks about himself or herself in a very derogatory manner as if he/she is absolutely useless to the mankind as a whole. A sheer display of low self esteem.

Never jump to any of the conclusion by observing these symptoms of bipolar disorder in teenagers. It’s always best to consult a psychiatrist and discuss with him about the situation.

Treatment For Bipolar Disorder In Teenagers:

Currently, there is no proper cure for this disorder. But yes, we do have treatments which can control the symptoms. The treatment will give best results only if it is taken regularly. Following are the few treatments which the patient should undertake:

  • Medication:

    There are various medicines available to control the symptoms. But always keep an eye on how your child is responding to the medicines and any side effects they may cause. Do not stop the medicines abruptly as it might make things worse. Follow the instructions of the doctor very religiously.

  • Therapy:Therapy helps your child to deal with situations in a better manner. Sometimes even the families are supposed to undergo this treatment which will help in dealing with the child in a much better way. It’s a good option as it rebuilds self-confidence in your kid. It educates the teenager to understand stress and adapt to it. By this technique teenagers can understand themselves better and improve relationships with others.

[ Read: Teenage Stress ]

As the saying goes “a stitch in time, save nine”. It is always better to tackle the problem at its onset. This disorder can be cured very easily if detected in its early stages. So monitor your child’s behavior if signs similar to any of the symptoms mentioned above are noticed. Consult with your doctor whenever necessary.

Do share your experiences on bipolar disorder in teens with us in the comment section below:

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