The hormones of teens are constantly flowing and changing which means mood swings. A teen may seem upbeat and happy about life one day however the next day could be a different story. A teen can be depressed and down about everything surrounding them. Parent’s often don’t think that the range of emotions that their teen is displaying could be a mental disorder such as bipolar. Through research I have been able to learn how parents can identify that their teen could have bipolar disorder and treatment opportunities for a teen with bipolar disorder.
There are different warning signs a parent can look for to determine if their child could possible have bipolar disorder. First a parent can keep track of their child’s mood. A sign is when a child’s mood is constantly changing even within a few hours. Dr. Barbara Geller, a professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis states, “They may spend four hours of the day high and giddy and silly, and it’s very infectious and amusing. However, in the next four hours they are morose, gloomy, not wanting to be with friends and thinking of hurting themselves.” A teen can have an attitude and an opinion about everything. However a teen with a bipolar disorder not only has the attitude but the action to go with it. For example, you may hear a teen say, “I hate school, I don’t want to go.” A teen with a bipolar disorder will actually ditch school and not to their homework. A bipolar teen is just more irresponsible than your average teen. Another sign is the use of drugs and alcohol. According to Dr. Barbara Geller, “There is a very high rate among people with bipolar disorder of using alcohol and drugs across the age span.” These are just signs of a teen who could have bipolar disorder. A parent who becomes aware of these signs should seek help immediately from a professional who could further diagnose the teen’s symptoms.
A common treatment for a teen with bipolar disorder is medication. Medication has shown to be effective with many teens especially if they take it regularly. Teens show improvement in school, with peers, family and an overall positive outlook about life. What can further help is having regular sessions with a counselor. A counselor can discuss how to handle stressful situations and problem solve with issues that come across in their life.
Parents can get help early for their teen by identifying the signs of bipolar disorder. Through help a teen can live a healthy, happy and successful life.
Christine Haran, “More Than Mood Swings: Bipolar Disorder in Teens.” Sacramento Bee URL: (http://sacbee.healthology.com/teen-health/teen-health-information/article1628.htm?pg=2)