Are you caring for a teenager with suspected or diagnosed Bipolar Disorder?
To help you care for your teenage son or daughter, we have provided some information about what they are experiencing. Additionally, there is insight into how you can help yourself as you care for your loved one.
Bipolar Disorder or Bipolar Affective Disorder is a chronic mental health condition or a recurring condition that affects the mood of a person and makes them behave outside their character – between mania and depression. Bipolar Disorder, as the term suggests, more accurately describes the cycling of moods that is experienced by the person between the two poles of ‘high’ or elevated mood and ‘low’ or depressed mood.
The elevated mood is also referred to as mania, a period of elevated, expansive or irritable mood, high energy levels and inappropriate behaviours. In teenagers or adolescents, this constant switching of moods can cause significant problems in familial and social relationships as well as in school. Extreme mood changes can also affect comprehension and in turn, result in unsound decision making especially in personal relationships and school matters.
A person with Bipolar I will have extreme manic states, their behaviour quickly escalates and their mania is likely to require hospitalisation.
Bipolar II is considered more common; their manic symptoms are less severe and cause less impairment for the individual. In Bipolar II these episodes are referred to as hypomania.
Bipolar Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) is another diagnosis but of a milder form of Bipolar Disorder whose mood episodes do not last as long or be as severe as symptoms from Bipolar I and II.
A manic episode (high mood) in teens can include the following symptoms:
Teenagers in a depressive state (low mood) will experience the opposite of mania:
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HelpingMinds® respectfully acknowledge that we work on Aboriginal land and pay our respects to community members and elders, past and present. Individuals pictured are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.