Bipolar Disorder is a type of mood disorder that is characterized by a mood swings between depression and mania. There are two types of this disorder. Bipolar I is also known as Bipolar I, which includes one or more distinct periods of mania, and could also include a mixed period. For instance, if there is a period of mania, there might also be features of depression and if there is a period of depression, there might also be features of mania. However, Bipolar I does not require having an episode of depression. Bipolar II, on the other hand, is characterized by at least one episode of hypomania and at least one episode of depression. This diagnosis can be made only if the individual has not ever experienced a period of mania. Hypomania is an episode of that is less severe than a full episode of mania.
The following are common medical terms used with teen bipolar disorder that any parent or caregiver should know. These terms describe the symptoms that are common teen bipolar disorder.
Acute – relatively short but severe, as in an “acute manic episode.
Hypersexual – having an excess interest or involvement in sexual activity, sometimes a symptom of a manic episode
Hyperthymic – meaning high energy, very outgoing, active, confident, and sometimes even arrogant.
Hypomania – an elevated mood that is not quite full mania but does include increased energy, less sleep, clarity of vision, and strong creativity.
Major depressive episode – an experience of very low mood that lasts for at least two weeks and is characterized by symptoms of despair, fatigue, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, and thoughts of suicide.
Mania – an experience of euphoria, high energy, impulsivity, irritability, and less need for sleep.
Manic episode – an experience of euphoria, high energy, impulsivity, irritability, and less need for sleep that lasts for one week or shorter.
Pressured speech – a symptom that is common with hypomania or mania in which there is urgent or non-stop talking that is difficult to interrupt.
Prodromal symptoms – signs that a mood episode, either depressive or manic, is forthcoming
Psychosis – an experience characterized by the loss of contact with reality and including either hallucinations or delusions.
Rapid Cycling – the state in which a mood swings between depression and mania more than four times per year.
Self Medicate – this is the tendency for teens and adults to try to manage their symptoms on their own through the use of alcohol, drugs, and or by regulating doses of prescription medication without a doctor.
Stressor – a trigger for stress in the body, that often arouses the nervous system and the brain.
If you are a parent or caregiver assisting a teen with this illness, you probably already know that there are treatment methods for Bipolar Disorder. The illness cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Typical treatment forms include medication such as the following:
SSNRI’s (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) – These are the newest class of anti-depressants. They increase levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) – SSRI’s are another class of anti-depressants used to increase the levels of serotonin, which can ease depressive symptoms. SSRI’s are incredibly effective, but they do come with risks for teens in particular. They can cause suicidal thoughts and even attempts at suicide.
Treatment for teen bipolar disorder can also include psychotherapy, support groups, and psychoeducational groups. If you’re not already working with a mental health provider, call for professional support today.