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Does your Teen have BIPOLAR DISORDER? From Barrington and Rolling Meadows, IL

Mar 2, 2008
Worried about the moodiness of your teenage son or daughter? Wondering about bipolar disorder?

Teenagers with bipolar disorder have an ongoing roller coaster of extremely elevated and then, depressed moods. You may find that the highs alternate with the lows, or, strange as it seems, your kid may even seem to feel both extremes simultaneously.

This very troubling and life-altering disorder usually starts in adulthood. However, it does occur in adolescents and even in young children occasionally. It can affect anyone and must be closely monitored because of its potential for destroying the life and well-being of the sufferer.

It can run in families; if you or your spouse are the biological parents of the child and either one of you has bipolar disorder, the chances are greater that he or she has or will develop it. In some patients, it also appears that a family history of drug or alcohol abuse can predispose a kid to develop it.

An episode of bipolar disorder may begin either with manic or depressive symptoms.

The manic symptoms include:

Erratic and marked changes in mood for no apparent reason - unusually happy or silly, or very irritable, angry, hostile or aggressive,

Very unrealistic highs in self-identity - for example, an adolescent who feels all powerful with super normal or exaggerated abilities,

The expression of seemingly unlimited energy, the ability to go with little or no sleep without feeling tired,

Hyper- talking episodes, where your kid talks too much, too rapidly, too quickly and unexplainably changes topics with a strong resistance to being interrupted,

Your kid is so distractible, it interferes with his ability to concentrate or have a conversation; his or her attention continually moves from one thing to the next,

Your kid may repeatedly engage in high risk behavior; such as, abusing alcohol or drugs, driving recklessly or promiscuous sexual behavior.

The depressive symptoms include may include the following:

Excessive irritability, hostility, depression, unrelenting sadness, frequent crying jags,
or thoughts of death or suicide,

An inability to get any enjoyment from pursuing once favorite activities,

The teen may frequently complaint of stress-based physical illnesses such as headaches or backaches,

The manifestation of a low energy level, listlessness, fatigue, impaired concentration and feeling bored,

Over-sleeping, under-sleeping, under or over-eating,

It is important to remember that any of these symptoms may also occur if your teenager has other problems, such as alcohol or drug abuse, delinquent behavior, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder etc. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder should only be made over time with careful observation.

A thorough evaluation by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist can isolate the most important problems and initiate treatment. The good news is that teens with bipolar disorder can be treated effectively, if their therapy is monitored regularly and continued throughout life.

Treatment for this serious disorder should include a program to teach the patient and family about the illness itself and the mood stabilizing psychotherapy, counseling and medications that are part of the treatment plan. The mood stabilizing medications are used to reduce the number and the intensity of the manic episodes and also to prevent the symptoms of depression from occurring.

Psychotherapy helps the teenager understand himself or herself, adapt to ongoing life stresses that can exacerbate the problem, rebuild self-esteem and improve relationships.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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