Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens - Treatment Overview
Mood changes and other
symptoms of bipolar disorder are challenging, but they can be managed
effectively. Treatment usually includes medicines (such as mood stabilizers)
and counseling. Often a combination of both is needed.
An important part of treatment is making sure
your child takes his or her bipolar medicine. Often people who feel better after
taking their medicine for a while think they are cured and
no longer need treatment. But when a person stops taking medicine, symptoms
usually return. So it is important that your child follow the treatment
Counseling works best when symptoms of bipolar
disorder are controlled with medicines. For more information on the types of counseling used to treat bipolar disorder, see Other Treatment.
Home treatment includes helping your child get regular exercise, eat a balanced diet, and have a regular sleep schedule. For more information, see Home Treatment.
If your child's behavior is suicidal, aggressive, reckless, or
dangerous, or if he or she is out of touch with reality (psychotic) or
unable to function, the child may need to go into the hospital for a while. Also, many
medicines can make the symptoms of bipolar disorder worse. If your child is
taking one of these, he or she may need to taper off and stop the medicine.
This should only be done under the supervision of a doctor.
Impact on the family
Bipolar disorder has a big impact on both the
child and his or her family. Successful treatment requires that the child and
family members know what happens in bipolar disorder and that the family
members help make sure that the child follows the treatment.
can take time for you and your child to accept that the child has a serious,
long-term condition that requires ongoing treatment and constant monitoring.
But keep in mind that by working with your child's doctor, you and your child
can find treatment that works.