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What Are the Signs of Bipolar Disorder in Teens?

a boy stands angrily with his arms crossed as he deals with the signs of bipolar disorder in teens

Are you concerned that your teenager’s mood swings are more than just a phase? Could they be displaying signs of bipolar disorder in teens? Early detection plays a critical role in managing this condition.

The teen bipolar disorder treatment program at Family First is designed with your family in mind. We don’t address mental health concerns at their face value. Instead, we explore the deep-rooted emotions with your teen and provide unmatched clinical support. At the same time, we work closely with your family to create a more structured, supportive environment at home. Call 888.904.5947 to find help today.

Unmasking Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition characterized by significant mood swings that include manic highs and depressive lows. It’s crucial to differentiate between typical teen mood changes and potential symptoms of bipolar disorder, as this knowledge can pave the way for early intervention and effective treatment.

There are three main types of bipolar disorder, including:

  • Bipolar I
  • Bipolar II
  • Cyclothymic disorder

These conditions are differentiated by the frequency and severity of symptoms, especially those related to distinct manic and depressive episodes.

Key Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Teens

Bipolar disorder is characterized by emotions and behaviors in manic and depressive episodes, which are strikingly different. The signs of bipolar disorder in teens will vary depending on the type of bipolar they have, if they are in a manic or depressive episode, and environmental factors.

Signs of a Manic Episode

Manic episodes are the “highs” people living with bipolar experience. Some common signs include:

  • Extreme excitement, joy, or irritability
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased energy and activity levels
  • Racing thoughts and impulsive behavior

Some teens may also experience psychosis, which involves a break from reality and can include hallucinations or delusions during a manic episode.

Signs of a Depressive Episode

Depressive episodes are the “lows” associated with bipolar disorder. Some common signs include:

  • Persistent sadness or irritability
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Significant changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Depressive episodes can be particularly challenging for teens, as they may affect their academic performance, social relationships, and overall well-being.

Early Intervention for Teen Bipolar Disorder

Early intervention is vital for managing teen bipolar disorder and minimizing its impact on everyday life. If you suspect your child may be displaying common signs of bipolar disorder in teens, it’s essential to seek professional help as soon as possible. A comprehensive treatment program, like the one offered at Family First, can provide your family with the support and resources needed to address this complex condition.

Family First’s Approach to Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Professional intervention is imperative for an accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Once diagnosed, there are a range of treatment options available, including therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. These treatments aim to manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for teens with bipolar disorder.

At Family First, we take a comprehensive approach to promote long-term healing, including:

  • Clinical support – Teens meet with a psychiatric provider at least once per week and check in with a nurse every morning. We provide medication management services and ensure parents understand and agree before any modifications are made.
  • Individual counseling – One-on-one counseling provides the chance for therapists to connect with teens and explore their deep-rooted emotions. We don’t try to modify their behavior. Rather, we want to teach them to connect with themselves so they can build a healthy way to move forward in life.
  • Experiential therapy – Paddleboarding, CrossFit exercises, equine therapy, and deep-sea fishing excursions in small groups allow the teens at our center to engage in the healing process. By realizing their mental health is involved in everything they do, they begin to expand their self-reliance and confidence.
  • Family systems – Parental support groups and family therapy sessions allow counselors to communicate effectively with families about their teen’s condition. By engaging the whole family, we can create a more structured and supportive environment at home for long-term success.

By finding help early for your teen, you can ensure they receive the support and care needed to live a fulfilling life despite their bipolar disorder.

Call Family First Adolescent Services Now

If you’ve noticed the signs of bipolar disorder in teens when you interact with your child, don’t wait to get help. Contact Family First Adolescent Services online or call 888.904.5947 now.