Understanding Bipolar Disorder In Teenagers

Is your child dealing with bipolar disorder? Here are the causes and symptoms to look into for a secure treatment process!

Article Card image

Teenage is the most difficult phase in anyone’s life. The altering hormones not only bring many physical changes but also change the way you think or behave. Peer pressures, looking for privacy, attraction towards the opposite sex, too much anger or excitement and mood swings with an ‘I am always right’ attitude make it difficult for parents to deal with their child. However, these are the normal changes and stages of puberty which will pass with time. But in today’s modern times' depression is at an all-time high not only with adults but with teenagers too.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder In Teenagers

Bipolar disorder is one such serious condition which can disturb the life of your child. The mood swings that may seem normal for this age can actually be early signs of bipolar disorder. Parents need to understand that bipolar disorder is a psychological disorder that needs timely and proper treatment.

What Is Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar disorder is remarked by drastic and sharp mood swings and changes in energy levels.

They can be either manic or depressive.

The teenager will be unusually energized or excited and will feel everything in the extreme when at a manic level. Your child will behave impulsively and would always look too lively or high on life. The depressive mood will be completely opposite to manic. The child will feel sad, down, or hopeless and unhappy with life and with everyone else. They will be mostly inactive and will be completely disinterested in things that used to excite them. That’s not all! They can return back to their normal usual behavior between switching from manic to depressive moods.

There is no permanent treatment for bipolar disorder. However, the symptoms can be managed with medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar disorder most commonly develops in the late teens and early adult years. What is alarming is that more than 2.8 percent of bipolar disorder patients in the United States are above the age of 18 years.

During the bipolar disorder, the affected person shows two types of mood swings; manic and depressive. Let's get to know about the symptoms of both episodes.

Symptoms For Manic Bipolar Episodes:

Anger outbursts and overreactions

Overexcited and silly behavior which is inappropriate for the age


Over energetic

Restlessness, facing difficulty in focussing on anything

Talking too much

Too much fascination for sex

Impulsive behaviors

Ego problems and anger management issues

Symptoms Of Depressive Bipolar Episode:

Feeling too depressed and hopeless all

Isolation and loneliness

Feeling guilty and ashamed

Crying without any reason

Loss of self-worth

Anxiety and stress

Lethargy; feeling tired even after getting enough sleep

Complaining about pains

Needless anger and irritation

Change in appetite, eating too much or eating too less

Lack of spirit and positive attitude

Always thinking and talking about death

Teenage and puberty make it difficult for parents to evaluate the real situation as some of the bipolar disorder symptoms are common teen behaviors.


Doctors have still to find the real cause of the bipolar disorder. However, they don’t deny the role of

genes, environment, and brain chemistry in the development of the bipolar disorder. What makes it worse is that bipolar disorder is often accompanied by other psychological disorders.

Studies have proved that there are 20-80 percent chances of developing disorders like

Stress and anxiety disorders

disruptive behavior disorders

Drugs Or substance abuse disorders

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder


The symptoms can be managed with the help of medication and therapy. It has been noticed that therapy helps a lot in bipolar disorder management..

If necessary, doctors may prescribe more than one drug in teenage bipolar disorder.

The medications mostly include:


mood stabilizers

antipsychotic drugs


Therapy is the most effective form of treatment. Therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy, family-focused therapy, and interpersonal therapy make it easier for the teenager to understand his situation and deal with his condition more sensibly.

Bipolar disorder is a difficult situation to deal with but things can work out with the help of effective treatments and love and care of family members. Be patient with your teen kids and don’t forget that communication is the key to knowing about what is going in their mind.

Mental Health

Related Article