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Helping Teens with Bipolar Disorder

therapeutic boarding schoolBipolar disorder is typically diagnosed during late adolescence (teen years) or early adulthood.  Also known as “manic depression”, it is a mental illness that brings severe high and low moods and sleep, energy, thinking, and behavior changes. Although the symptoms may vary over time, bipolar disorder usually requires lifelong treatment. Following a prescribed treatment plan can help people manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Teens with bipolar disorder can have periods in which they feel overly happy and energized and other periods of feeling very sad, hopeless, and sluggish. In between those periods, they usually feel normal. You can think of the highs and the lows as two “poles” of mood, which is called “bipolar” disorder.

The word “manic” describes when someone with bipolar disorder feels overly excited and confident. These feelings can also involve irritability and impulsive or reckless decision-making. About half of people during mania can also have delusions (believing things that aren’t true and can’t be talked out of) or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there).

While experiencing normal phases sandwiched between, the elevated phase (clinically called “manic”) can cause the teen to become easily sidetracked, talking too much, sleeping too little, with racing thoughts and bad judgment and temper control, unsuitably high self-regard, and out-of-control behavior (sexual promiscuity, overindulgent drinking/eating/drug use).

The “depressive” (clinically low) times might appear with anxiety, regret and gloom, irritation, disturbed sleep patterns, lost interest in once-enjoyed activities, and lack of energy.

Family history and brain chemistry are considered factors, but BPD causes are not clearly established.  Other acknowledged factors might include drug or alcohol abuse and excessive-high stress.

We Can Help Your Teen with Bipolar Disorder

It is essential to receive a proper diagnosis, especially in light of the self-threatening nature of many behaviors seen with Bipolar Disorder; in some cases, commitment (either voluntary or not) will be called for, allowing treatment to progress.  Early treatment is critical (as is making sure to differentiate his disorder from chronic depression), especially as there is a high suicide rate among teens with Bipolar Disorder.

Most people with bipolar disorder need medication in order to keep their symptoms under control. When medication is continued on a long-term basis, it can reduce the frequency and severity of bipolar mood episodes, and sometimes prevent them entirely. If your teen has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, they and their doctor will work together to find the right drug or combination of drugs for their needs. Because everyone responds to medication differently, they may have to try several different medications before the doctor finds one that relieves the symptoms.

An evaluation performed by an experienced psychotherapist specializing in adolescent Bipolar Disorder is essential in confirming the diagnosis. An individual treatment approach should be applied in a controlled and secure environment to provide your teen with tools that are key to normal function and a healthy future.

Many programs provide a high level of clinical care necessary to perform proper evaluations and implement treatment for Bipolar Disorder.

Wolf Creek is a therapeutic program for boys, and girls aged 13 to 17. For over 30 years, our highly trained professional counselors have provided help for families experiencing difficulties with their teenager.

We can help your teenager. Call or email us for more information today!

Call Us Toll Free: (877)477-9653

Email: info@wolfcreekacademy.org

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