Teen Depression | How To Treat Bipolar Depression Symptoms In Teens
Yes ” Bipolar Depression ” is different from the normal “blues” and everyday emotions that occur in teen’s ( 10 to 17 years) life.
Your child is going through the usual ups and downs of being a teenager. But then you begin to notice that their behavior is a bit more erratic than usual and seems to swing from extreme irritability to extreme sadness every few days.
You may start to think that maybe it’s more than teenage angst — that maybe your teen has bipolar disorder. Read on to learn what symptoms to look for, how bipolar disorder is diagnosed, and how this mental health condition is treated. If the sadness becomes persistent, or interferes with normal social activities, interests, schoolwork, or family life, it may indicate that he or she has a depressive illness. Keep in mind that while bipolar depression is a serious illness, it is also a treatable one.
What Is Bipolar Depression ?
Bipolar Depression Disorder is a type of mood disorder. However, unlike in Depression, the problem in Bipolar Disorder is in the brain’s regulation of the usual ups and downs of normal mood. In Bipolar Disorder, people cycle between periods of Mania i.e. feeling really elevated or irritable and periods of either normal mood or Depression i.e. feeling really sad and low. These cycles sometimes called episodes of Depression and Mania may be frequent daily or infrequent years apart.
Bipolar Depression Symptoms
Symptoms of a manic episode are very different from those of a depressive episode. Although teens with bipolar depression disorder experience mood changes in much the same way as adults, one difference is that teens tend to be more irritable than elated during their manic episodes.
A teen with bipolar depression disorder who’s having a manic episode may:
- Have a very short temper
- Talk excitedly and quickly about a lot of different things
- Be unable to focus
- Rapidly jump from task to task
- Be unable to sleep but not feel tired
- Feel incredibly happy or act silly in an unusual way
- Do risky things like drinking while driving
- Do compulsive things like binge shopping
- Become overly sexual or sexually active
Passing through this depression phase, your teen may feel:
- Worthless, empty, and guilty
- Feel very down and sad
- Complain about stomach-aches, headaches, or other aches and pains
- Sleep too much or too little
- Do drugs
- Have little to no energy
- Have a loss of concentration
- Be indecisive
- Have no interest in activities or socializing with friends
- Overeat or not eat at all
- Think a lot about death and suicide
How Can Bipolar Depression Diagnosed?
Your teen’s doctor may perform a physical exam, an interview, and lab tests. Although your doctor can’t diagnose bipolar disorder through a blood test or body scan, it helps to rule out other illnesses that mimic the disorder.
If your doctor finds that no other diseases or medications are causing your teen’s symptoms, they may suggest that your child see a psychiatrist.
A psychiatrist will conduct a mental health assessment to determine if your child has bipolar disorder. There are six types of bipolar disorder diagnoses recognized under Bipolar Depression Disorder which doctors use to diagnose mental health disorders.
Therapy & Treatments To Cure Bipolar Depression in Teens
Your teen may benefit from going to therapy. Talking with a therapist can help them manage their symptoms, express their feelings, and have better relationships with loved ones. There are a number of different types of therapy treatments:
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, can help your teen work out the stress associated with bipolar disorder. It can also help them identify issues they can address during sessions. Teens with bipolar disorder can have individual sessions or go to group therapy sessions.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy can help your teen learn problem-solving skills and ways to turn negative thoughts and behaviors into positive ones.
- Interpersonal therapy is also known as interpersonal and social rhythm therapy. It focuses on minimizing family disputes and disruptions in daily routines or social rhythms that might trigger new episodes.
- Family-focused therapy helps families work through intense emotions and stresses. It also promotes family problem solving and conflict resolution. It’s considered the best type of therapy for children
- Your teen’s doctor will discuss medication options to help you find the medications that may be most appropriate for your teen. Doctors most commonly prescribe drugs called mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics to treat bipolar disorder.
You should talk to your teen’s doctor about the medication treatment plan they’re prescribing so that you’re as informed as possible. Be sure to ask:
- Why they’re recommending a certain medication
- How the medication should be taken
- What the short-term and long-term side effects are
Tips To Help Your Teen To Get Cured From Depression
If your child has just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you probably want to know what you can do to help. Parents and loved ones can help their teen cope by following these steps:
Be patient and kind. You may get frustrated with your teen, but be sure to be calm and patient so that they feel supported.
Encourage your teen to open up. Let them know that it’s alright to talk about what they’re going through and that your home is a judgment-free zone. This can help strengthen your relationship.
Listen to your teen carefully and with compassion. Your teen feels loved and supported when they know you’re listening to their feelings with an open heart.
Help keep track of their moods and symptoms. You and your teen can work together to keep track of how your teen feels and the intensity of their moods. This can help you, your teen, and their therapist better understand the disorder and make necessary changes to their treatment.
Help them develop a daily routine and a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, sleeping well, and avoiding drugs and alcohol helps your teen better manage their disorder. And establishing a daily routine helps your teen develop that healthy lifestyle.
You can help your teen by encouraging them to:
- Keep a daily schedule
- Prepare what they need for each day
- Develop healthy eating habits
- Develop healthy sleep habits
- Socialize with friends and family
- Spend at least 30 minutes per day working out to enhance overall health
If you have concerns about your teen’s mental health or eating habits, wellness etc. come visit us at our “Health, Nutrition & Fitness” event for kids of age groups (Toddlers, Kids & Teens) by FitaCon.
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