Bipolar disorder is a condition that can affect anyone, including teenagers. When a person is afflicted with bipolar disorder, he may experience mood swings ranging from extreme happiness and elation, to manic depressive moods. Because of this, people with bipolar disorder can find it a bit more difficult to integrate themselves with other people. To help your teen, here are some steps that you can take in dealing with bipolar disorder in teens.
- Symptoms. First of all, you should do your research on the various symptoms through which bipolar disorder will manifest itself. This is very important, since navigating and trying to understand a teenager’s behavior is already difficult in itself. The last thing you want is to confuse typical teenage mood swings with bipolar disorder. There are plenty of resources that you can use to determine the usual symptoms of bipolar disorder. Read up on medical and psychological articles that are found on the Internet, and visit the local health clinic near you where you can get pamphlets and other reading materials about bipolar disorder.
- Observe. Once you know the symptoms, try to observe your teenager closely, but without infringing on your teen’s lifestyle. Think of yourself as an objective third party to the situation, who is simply trying to observe. Do not make judgments at this point, since this will only affect your observation. If you think that your teen meets the criteria and exhibits the symptoms of bipolar disorder, the next step is to have him diagnosed.
- Diagnosis. Diagnosis made by certified health and medical professionals is very important since treatment can only begin once the disorder has been diagnosed. While reading up on symptoms and observing your teen will give you some ideas about the disorder, only a certified medical health professional will be able to accurately determine the severity of the bipolar condition, and determine what type of treatment is needed. Some of the common treatment options include medication and therapy.
- Support groups. Dealing with a teenager who has bipolar disorder does not only involve your teen, but you and the rest of the family as well. This is because the teen will regularly interact with you and the rest of the family. Any mood swings that the teen may have can severely affect the emotional well being of the family as well. To help the family cope, you should join support groups for families living with people who have bipolar disorder. This will help you understand the disorder further and will help the family live through the ordeal.
- Love. Finally, make sure that you pour out as much love and understanding as possible for your teen that has bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder often get into conflicts and may seem harsh and cold at times. This does not mean, however, that they do not love you or that you should not love them back. In fact, it is at this trying point when you should show your teen just how much you care and how ready you are to provide support for him.
As difficult as bipolar disorder may be, it is something that can be
overcome and is something that you can deal with. These steps should
help you do just that.