Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens - Topic Overview
Children with this disorder are more likely to have other problems. These
alcohol and drug abuse, trouble in school, running
away from home, fighting, and even suicide. Treating the disorder as early as
possible may keep your child from having these problems.
the warning signs of suicide, which change with age.
Warning signs of suicide in children and teens may
include thinking too much about death or suicide. Watch also for things that
can trigger a suicide attempt such as a recent breakup of a relationship or the
loss of a parent or close family member through death or divorce.
The mood changes that come
bipolar disorder can be a challenge. But with the
right treatment, they can be managed well. Treatment usually includes both
medicine (such as mood stabilizers) and
An important part of
treatment is making sure your child takes his or her medicine. Children and
teens with this disorder sometimes stop taking their medicines when they feel
better. But without medicine, their symptoms usually come back.
Medicines for bipolar disorder in adults have been well studied. But more
research is being done on how the medicines work and if they are safe
for children and teens.
Keeping a consistent sleep-wake schedule is an important first step in managing bipolar disorder. Set a regular sleep-wake schedule for your child, to make sure they go to bed and wake up the same time every day, even on weekends.
Accepting that your child has bipolar
disorder can be hard. The disorder can be a serious, lifelong problem. Your
child will need long-term treatment and will need to be watched carefully. By
working with your child's doctor, you can find a treatment that works for your