This is the second of two articles providing psychological and medical terms on teen bipolar disorder, which you might need when having conversations with professionals in the mental health field. You might particularly need this if you’re just learning about a bipolar disorder diagnosis, either for yourself, or if you’re a caregiver, perhaps for a teen.
The following completes the list of terms and their definitions. Both of these articles are meant to be a useful resource.
Neurons – cells that are part of the communication network in the brain and other parts of the nervous system. They carry signals and information throughout the body.
Neuroplasticity – the ability of the nervous system to adapt in response to internal and external stimuli. Certain treatments of bipolar disorder can have an effect on an individual’s brain capacity to grow and adapt.
Neurotransmitter – a chemical in the brain that is a part of the communication system between cells and the nervous system and from the nervous system to other parts of the body
Norepinephrine – a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the flight or fight response and regulates mood, anxiety, and memory.
Omega-3 – a source of essential fatty acids that some clinicians say are necessary for healthy development and functioning of the brain.
Phototherapy – a type of therapy that uses light as a way to stimulate mood changes.
Presenting symptoms – the symptoms a client is experiencing that prompts their visit to a doctor or psychiatrist.
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
Prophylaxis – this is a sophisticated term for prevention.
Psychiatrist – a physician who specializes in the biology and physiology of the brain. A psychiatrist makes a diagnosis, administers treatment – such as therapy, psycho-education, and prescribing medication.
Psycho-education – a type of therapy that provides patients with information on the disorder, its symptoms, and forms of effective treatment.
Psychologist – a professional who specializes in the function of thought processes, emotions, and behavior. A psychologist can facilitate the mental health of patients.
Psychopharmacology – the study of medications and their effects on the brain.
Psychosis – an experience characterized by the loss of contact with reality and including either hallucinations or delusions.
Psychotropic Medication – substances that are used to treat the symptoms of psychological disorders
Rapid Cycling – the state in which a mood swings between depression and mania more than four times per year.
Schizoaffective Disorder – a type of psychological disorder that is a combination of a mood disorder (such as bipolar disorder) and schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia – a psychological disorder in which thought becomes dissociated from sensory input and emotions, including either hallucinations or delusions.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a mood disorder that is heavily connected to the change of the seasons. Those who are diagnosed with SAD often experience depression during the winter.
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.
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.
Serotonin – a type of neurotransmitter that plays a major role in mood, anxiety, fear, sleep, and body temperature.
Stressor – a trigger for stress in the body, that often arouses the nervous system and the brain.
Support Group – a form of support where individuals meet to discuss and empower one another in the common challenges they face.
TCA’s (Tricyclic Antidepressants) – This type of anti-depressant works by increasing the levels of norepinephrine as well as serotonin, but to a lesser degree.
Unipolar Depression – a mood disorder that is characterized by the experience of depression without mania
The above list is meant to gather useful terms together in one place to facilitate intelligent conversations with a psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist.