Teen Bipolar Disorder

Intensive Outpatient

I was sad, angry and completely overwhelmed. It was difficult for me to trust and let my guard down. Slowly that began to change.
Former Patient

Teen bipolar disorder is characterized by very extreme mood swings, from periods of euphoria to depression.

An estimated one person in 100 suffers from bipolar disorder, but teen bipolar disorder is even more prevalent since bipolar disorder usually manifests itself in people before age 35.

If left untreated, teen bipolar disorder can have devastating consequences. It can ruin a person’s relationships with family and friends, make it difficult for a person to stay in school or hold a job.

Medical Impact of Teen Bipolar Disorder

Teen bipolar disorder causes habits that are not conducive to good health, such as inconsistent patterns of eating and sleeping.

Signs of Teen Bipolar Disorder

During periods of euphoria, individuals with teen bipolar disorder may have delusional or grandiose perceptions. They may be hyperactive, have a reduced need for sleep and lack good judgment. Thoughts may be disorganized.

During periods of depression, those with teen bipolar disorder may be irritable and angry to a degree that is inappropriate. They may be paranoid and have feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, indifference or guilt. They may be withdrawn, have a loss of appetite and cry for no apparent reason.

Other symptoms of teen bipolar disorder may include an inability to concentrate, loss or increase in appetite, insomnia and, in some cases, suicide attempts.

Causes of Teen Bipolar Disorder

Genetic changes in body chemistry are believed to cause teen bipolar disorder. Negative family relationships, serious illness and substance abuse are also believed to be contributing factors.

Walden’s Approach To Teen Bipolar Disorder

Walden takes a “whole health” approach to treating teen bipolar disorder. We treat both physical and psychiatric symptoms concurrently. If the teen patient has a co-occurring disorder, additional diseases are treated at the same time that bipolar disorder treatment is taking place.

Walden provides both inpatient care and partial hospitalization as part of its treatment program for teen bipolar disorder. Treatment changes as the patient progresses, and more intensive treatment is provided when needed.

Treatment of Teen Bipolar Disorder

Treatment of teen bipolar disorder typically combines drug therapy with behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. A treatment plan is developed based on an in-depth assessment of each patient. Treatment of teen bipolar disorder is most effective if it is designed to meet the specific needs of each patient.

Standard treatment of teen bipolar disorder includes the use of mood stabilizers. Lithium carbonate, which can reduce the number and intensity of manic episodes or even prevent them, is the most commonly used medication for treating teen bipolar disorder.

Anticonvulsant medications, such as valproate, are also frequently used for teen bipolar disorder treatment. Treatment may also include medication to increase thyroid hormones, which are often low in patients with teen bipolar disorder.

The use of cognitive behavioral therapy, and other forms of group therapy and educational programs, helps those with teen bipolar disorder change their behavior and how they think, so that they can better control their illness. By recognizing signs of a potential relapse early on, they can better prevent more severe episodes.

Teen bipolar disorder treatment also typically includes support groups for family members and loved ones.

Helping Someone With Teen Bipolar Disorder

If you suspect you or someone you know has teen bipolar disorder, do something about it. Seek professional counseling immediately.

For teenagers 18 years and older, Walden Behavioral Care offers an adult inpatient mood disorder program in Waltham, MA.  For more information, please contact admissions at 781-647-6727 or online.