Common Red Flags That Your Teen Has Bipolar Disorder

a teen enters treatment for bipolar disorder

Teen bipolar disorder presents in similar ways as it presents in adults. Still, because of young people’s unique physical, emotional, social, and psychological challenges, bipolar disorder in teens can masquerade as extreme examples of normal teenage behavior. This makes identifying cases of bipolar disorder tricky, especially for parents, often due to second-guessing assessments of their teen’s personality versus symptoms of BPD.

The symptoms of bipolar disorder often lead to erratic, unpredictable behavior. If left untreated, it could result in physical or emotional damage to your teen or those closest to them. At The Right Step, we can help you determine whether your teen has bipolar disorder as part of our teen mental health treatment. Call 17135283709 today to learn how you can take action to aid your teen’s mental well-being.

What Is Teen Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder (BPD) is, as the name might imply, a psychiatric disorder involving two different states: depressed and manic. People who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder show symptoms of both low and high mood. One helpful way to understand manic and depressive symptoms is to think of depression as slowing everything down. During a depressive phase, people feel tired, sleep more, think more slowly, speak more slowly, and so on. During a manic phase, people experience the opposite – for example, sleeping less, thinking in rapid cycles, and talking more quickly. There are different types of bipolar disorder and different levels of severity of each type.

In cases of teen bipolar disorder, where most people receive their diagnosis, about 25% of those diagnosed will undergo remission within two years. Bipolar disorder actually has a high remission rate for psychiatric disorder standards, where almost nine out of ten cases will be resolved within the decade. During that time, though, the symptoms of bipolar disorder will cause at least some level of mental disturbance for your teen.

Signs of Teen Bipolar Disorder

Since BPD is a combination of mania, depression, and the effects of going from one to the other, identifying the disorder will require identifying different, sometimes contradictory behavioral patterns:

Red Flags of Mania

  • Racing thoughts — Your teen may complain that thoughts are coming into their head too fast, and for some, this provokes anxiety.
  • Sleeping less or insomnia — A one-off night may be normal but watch for a pattern of several nights in a row or longer of curtailed sleep.
  • Intense impatience or irritability — All teens can be impatient and intense, but bipolar disorder in teens can present with an increase in both intensity and duration of irritability. Snapping at parents is common, but watch for snapping at peers, anger at things that your teen used to tolerate, and irrational impatience.

Red Flags Of Depression

  • Suicidal thoughts — While many teens get the blues and seem dramatic at times, it is not normal teen behavior to express thoughts of suicide. Bipolar disorder in teens can be life-threatening. Take all suicidal talk seriously and take immediate action to keep your teen safe.
  • Excessive sleep — Again, not just one night or one weekend, but a pattern of increased hours of sleep.
  • Poor concentration, changes in school work, or social connections — Your teen may suddenly express a lack of interest in subjects they formerly enjoyed and disinterest in friends. “It’s all too much effort” is what your teen might say if asked why the change.

The Right Step’s Program for Teens

While cases of teen bipolar disorder can’t be cured entirely, with the proper assistance, they can be managed with extreme effectiveness. The vast majority of teen sufferers of BPD go on to live well, managing their disease just like they might manage a chronic medical condition. The Right Step offers complete treatment for teens with bipolar disorder. Medications and therapy can reduce the impact of the disease and help teens and their families enjoy all the lessons and fun that the teen years offer. Don’t hesitate to get your teen the care they need. Call 17135283709 and speak with a professional today.

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