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    Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

    By Darlene Zagata     

    Bipolar disorder is a condition that we hear quite a lot about these days. Bipolar is also known as manic depression. Although the condition cannot be attributed to any specific cause, it is considered to be an imbalance in the neurotransmitters of the brain. Even if there is no concrete proof that the condition is inherited, it is believed that bipolar disorder is more prevalent in those who may have an incidence of bipolar in their families.

    Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as post- traumatic stress disorder or a behavioral problem. Kids and teens may not exhibit the same symptoms as adults. Some signs to look for include rapid mood changes, anxiety, irritability, aggression and impatience. They may experience frequent and extreme episodes of mood swings.

    Children and teens that suffer from bipolar disorder may talk in a rapid manner and have an inflated sense of ego. They may have difficulty concentrating and exhibit suicidal tendencies. If an individual that has bipolar engages in the use of drugs and/or alcohol it may only intensify their condition. It is believed that high levels of stress or a traumatic event such as the death of a family member can act as a trigger for bipolar disorder.

    Although there is no cure for the condition it can be treated with medication to help stabilize the moods. Living with a person that has bipolar disorder can be a definite challenge. Teenagers may be prone to destructive outbursts. They may also have difficulty getting along with others, which can make living with them stressful for the entire family. Their unpredictable mood swings can keep the home front tense.

    If you suspect that your child or teenager may suffer from bipolar disorder, seek help and get them diagnosed so that you know for certain what type of disorder may be afflicting your child. Remember that bipolar may sometimes be mistaken for attention deficit disorder or other behavioral or emotional conditions. You should also be aware that some people with bipolar may deny the possibility that they need help. This is true of other conditions as well. Getting them to willingly seek diagnosis and/or treatment can prove especially trying in some cases. If this is the case with a teen in your family, consult your physician or a mental health professional that can provide you with ways to help your child and yourself.

    Do your best to keep the family environment calm, positive and supportive. It takes patience and understanding to deal with bipolar disorder. Education is the first step in understanding the often-misunderstood behavior of our children. When we realize that there is an underlying cause to our childís confusing behavior we are better able to work toward a proper way of meeting their needs and relieving the tension that may have developed between the child and other family members. We must also understand that this is a depressive disorder as well. While proper medication can help this problem immensely it is also important to be nurturing. When families work together with love and care they can accomplish anything. Take the first step is assuring your childís health.

    Written by Darlene ZagataRate this article:

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