Is Your Teen Acting Out, or Is It Bipolar Disorder?
As your children grow from childhood and enter their teenage years, life can seem like a never-ending struggle. Normal teenagers have occasional outbursts and trouble controlling their emotions at times. All families experience unfamiliar feelings as teenagers learn how to grow into responsible adults. However, not all families live with a teen who might have bipolar disorder.
While every parent has infrequent disagreements or fights with their teen, it’s not normal to live your life in a battle zone. If your teen’s wild mood swings have your family tiptoeing around to avoid upsetting them, you will need to find a solution. A teen acts out for many reasons. Whatever lines of communication you keep open between you and your teen are helpful.
Give your child choices that help them learn critical thinking skills. Prepare them by explaining that mistakes are not failures. However, make it clear that keeping secrets puts everyone at risk. Maintain a safe zone where your child can approach you and tell you anything with no meltdowns on your part. This does not mean there is a lack of consequences, but boundaries give a teen a sense of security.
Observing your child for signs of teen mental health means making it safe for them to share things with you. It is essential to continually reinforce non-judgmental responses. Tell them and show them that no matter how much you hate their behaviour, you love them. This means showing them you won’t give up on them and that they cannot drive you away. This means loving them enough to get them help.
Dealing With Bipolar Disorder’s Symptoms
If you are not familiar with bipolar symptoms, it helps to know what they resemble. Dealing with bipolar disorder is possible with the right help. You can divide bipolar symptoms into two separate sets of behaviour. Depressive episodes are one aspect of bipolar symptoms. Manic periods are the other part of bipolar disease. Some people living with bipolar disease are nearly entirely on the depressive side, while others may be mostly manic. However, most of the time, teens rapidly swing between the two.
So, how do you know if your teen needs professional help? These are very general guidelines to help you make that decision. When identifying your teen’s actions, look for at least five examples occurring repeatedly and without explanation. A normal teen often shows these kinds of behaviour on occasion. You know your child best, though. Here are some bipolar symptoms on the depressive side:
- Rapid change toward either sluggishness or restless behaviour
- Extreme and unwarranted feelings of guilt and lack of their own worth
- Sudden and sustained loss of energy and increased fatigue
- Marked inability to make decisions, concentrate or think in a rational pattern
- Abrupt appetite changes, weight loss or gain with no logical explanation
- Feeling hopeless, empty or sad for no reason
- Noticeable lack of pleasure or interest in most or all activities
- Preoccupation with death or planning or attempting suicide
Manic symptoms associated with bipolar episodes are often tough to separate from typical teenage actions. Dealing with bipolar disorder takes professional training. If you’re looking for possible signs of a problem, look for at least three of these indicators:
- Euphoria leading to an unreal feeling of false confidence and well-being
- Agitation and sharp increase in frantic energy or activity
- Claims of no need for sleep
- Racing thoughts and circular thinking
- Uncharacteristically jumpy or giddy
- Too easily distracted and unable to concentrate
- Uncommonly talkative to the point of being hyperverbal
- Poor decisions around taking risks such as wild spending, shoplifting or breaking the law
Remember that these are general symptoms that teens suffering with bipolar issues have. If you want more specific information, Venture Academy offers a free online assessment to see if your teen needs help.
Venture Academy Excels In Dealing With Bipolar Disorder
If you recognize your teen in the symptoms above, you’ll be happy to know Venture Academy has a full treatment team ready to help your child. Treatment teams include peers, nurses, counsellors/therapists, doctors and specialists ready to provide respectful treatment options. We offer the following services in dealing with bipolar disorder:
- Crisis intervention
- Specialized treatment for troubled teens with every type of problem
- Youth detox program for substance abuse
- 30-day assessment and intervention
If you’re ready to get help for your teen, call us at 855.281.5813 now for an assessment appointment. Your family deserves a life free from drama and disruption. Help your teen mature and grow toward a full, fulfilling life.