If you have bipolar disorder, medication will likely be a part of your treatment plan. Medication can bring mania and depression under control and prevent relapse once your mood has stabilized. But just as a diabetic needs to take insulin in order to stay healthy, taking medication for bipolar disorder will help you maintain a stable mood.
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If your child has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you might have already had a discussion with his or her psychiatrist about medication. However, using psychotropic medication, although growing as a choice for treating psychological disorders, continues to carry a stigma. Often, those who take medication for their mental health are judged or looked down upon.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes extreme shifts in mood, behavior, attention, and energy level. These shifts can result in a high, referred to as a manic episode, or a low, known as a depressive episode. Symptoms of bipolar disorder typically emerge in early adulthood, around the age of 25, but symptoms can also develop in childhood or the teenage years.
Experts coach parents to expect the worst during the teen years: defiance, acting out, drug experimentation, even minor criminal activity. It may and it may not. It can be difficult to separate teenage moodiness from a more serious mood disorder like bipolar disorder or clinical depression.
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Ian C. Smith does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence.
Bipolar disorders are one of several medical conditions called depressive disorders. Depressive disorders affect the way a person's brain functions. Depressive disorders are widespread.
Although diagnosis of children and teenagers with bipolar disorder includes the same criteria that are used for adults, symptoms in children and teens often have different patterns and may not fit neatly into the diagnostic categories. Referral to a child psychiatrist with experience in bipolar disorder is recommended. Treatment is best guided by a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions psychiatrist who is skilled in treating bipolar and related disorders.
Bipolar disorder is a medical condition with many different treatment options to help your child or teen. Medications are usually a central part of treatment and are often very effective at stabilizing the mood and managing other symptoms of the disorder. Before starting any medication, your child's doctor will assess your child's mental and physical health. This is called finding out your child's "baseline" and may involve taking blood tests.