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Bipolar Disorder in Teens

from the Academy of Eastern Arizona
Bipolar disorder is often an overlooked mental issue that is difficult to diagnose particularly in teens. This disorder is a form of depression that affects many teens. The problem with diagnosing teens with this disorder is that they often show different symptoms than those that adults will display for this disorder. It is only recently that the medical world has more readily accepted that bipolar disorder does in fact happen in teens and children.

Bipolar disorder generally is explained as having periods of extreme happiness and contentment followed closely by periods of extreme sadness and depression. While having varying moods isn't uncommon in teens, it is the extremities and sometimes rapid changes that can be an indicator of having bipolar disorder.

There are actually several different types of bipolar disorder rather than just one. Doctors must determine which of the types each individual is before prescribing a treatment. The different types of bipolar disorder are Bipolar Disorder I, Bipolar Disorder II, Cyclothymiacs Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

Watching for common symptoms is an important thing for parents to do with their teens that they suspect to be suffering from bipolar disorder. When the teen is going through a manic episode (extreme happiness), some of the symptoms would include fast speech, increased activity with a decrease in sleep, excitability, reckless behavior, inability to concentrate and more. While going through the depressive state (extreme sadness), a teen may experience lack of motivation, sleeping more, talk of suicide, slipping grades, and just general sadness. Most teens will go through periods of either of these and not have bipolar disorder. The key is to watch for these things to happen frequently or in a pattern. Those would be indications that there may be a problem whether it is bipolar disorder or something else. Episodes in teens will often be shorter lived than those same episodes in adults.

Bipolar disorder in teens is caused by several factors that include environmental, genetic, and biochemical. Disorders such as this can run in the family, so when a family member has bipolar, parents should be especially watchful. Also, biochemical changes in the brain can also trigger bipolar. And finally, factors such as divorce, a death of someone close, or other experiences that are particularly traumatic can also contribute to developing bipolar disorder.

The Academy of Eastern Arizona, located in Holbrook, Arizona is to provide a safe, positive environment where each troubled teen girl is able to learn and apply the Values of Responsibility, Self Respect, Respect for Authority, and Self Motivation. Reach them by phone at:(866) 698-3362. See our listing on ISER.COM

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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