Bipolar disorder is referred to as manic depressive illness or manic depression. It is a serious mental illness that causes severe mood changes. This mood disorder is associated with the occurrence of two extreme moods: a low or depressed mood and a high or mania mood. An affected individual may experience distinct episodes of the two moods switching rapidly.
Psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and recurrent suicidal thoughts, are among the most severe manifestations of bipolar disorder. It can impede daily life activities and deteriorate relationships at work and home. This article covers the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of bipolar disorder in adolescent boys.
What Causes And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder In Teen Boys?
Bipolar disorder usually establishes during teenage or adolescence. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are difficult to diagnose in teens as it overlaps with symptoms of hormonal fluctuations during adolescence, or other mental illnesses like depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD. This makes parents distinguish if it is typical teen behavior or bipolar disorder.
While teens with bipolar go through erratic mood swings, which often outsize the normal ups and downs that every teenager goes through. And more often bipolar mood changes don’t have a trigger as we see how kids normally react to external stress factors like increased academic pressure or conflicts with parents.
Unlike adults with distinct mood episodes lasting one or two weeks, teens with bipolar disorder experience episodes of depression and mania that can happen simultaneously even within the same day. These are accompanied by changes in sleep and energy levels and cause trouble in the child’s ability to think clearly. During manic episodes, the teens may take extreme risks leading to injury, and may develop suicidal thoughts.
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown. But experts believe it may be due to genetics, extreme trauma, or acute head injuries. And it is also observed to co-exist with other illnesses such as acute depression with psychosis or schizophrenia.
➡️How can bipolar disorder be diagnosed and treated in a teen?
Due to a lack of understanding, those suffering from bipolar disorder often wait too long before seeking assistance. Since there is no physical test like blood tests or scans to diagnose the disorder, seeking professional help is essential. A doctor or a healthcare provider who specializes in childcare evaluates the symptoms to provide an accurate diagnosis. They would ask about the teen’s sleeping patterns, behavioral patterns, changes in mood and energy levels.
Treatment plans can be charted by healthcare professionals after the diagnosis. This can help in reducing the severity and recurrence of the symptoms. Like diabetes and heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term condition that needs to be managed throughout a person’s lifetime. Medicines are prescribed according to the complexity of the symptoms. This means the type and dosage of medicines can vary among the patients.
Psychosocial therapies like cognitive and family-focused therapies are mostly given to teens with bipolar disorder. These help in managing the symptoms and improving social interactions. Mostly a combination of medication, therapy, and counseling is found to be very effective in treating bipolar disorder allowing many people to live very well with the diagnosis.
The discontinuation of existing treatments, or the negligence of symptoms, can cause the episodes to worsen and can result in relapse. In some cases, the symptoms can be unexpectedly triggered, and a person might not even notice or control it.
➡️How to prevent bipolar disorder in teens?
Scientists do not know how to prevent bipolar disorder as they don’t know its exact cause. Owing to the fact that this disorder has no cure or preventive measures, there are still a lot of things you can do. Keeping records of all the episodes of your teen and attending all appointments with the doctor help in checking the improvements.
It is advised to take part in family therapy to find ways to keep things in control. Make sure to let others in your child’s immediate contact know about their condition. This ensures others reach out if things get out of control.
We have seen that bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is associated with abnormal mood swings shifting from episodes of depression and mania. In teens, it is hard to diagnose the condition due to its similarity to typical teenage mood swings.
Read More: How Can I Help My Teen Quit Vaping?
Thus, to avoid any chances of misdiagnosis it is important to seek medical assistance with the occurrence of symptoms. And we have to understand that there is no permanent cure or prevention for bipolar disorder. However, knowing the signs, early diagnosis, and seeking early intervention can help to treat the frequency and intensity of the episodes and can improve the quality of the teen’s life.