Bipolar disorder tends to show up in one’s teenage or young adult years. This chronic disorder appears a bit more erratic than normal teenage angst. Experiencing highs and lows are a normal part of life. However, swinging from extreme irritability to extreme sadness on a regular basis could indicate a deeper issue at hand. While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, there are ways to manage and cope with the condition. If you suspect that your teen may have bipolar disorder, it is important that you get them the professional support that they need to move forward in managing the disorder.

The Symptoms

An individual struggling with bipolar disorder will experience two types of episodes: manic and depressive. During each of these episodes, teens will exhibit different symptoms that can help confirm which type of episode they are experiencing. Here is a breakdown of the two types and the symptoms that follow:

  1. Manic episode symptoms seen in teens:
  • have a very short temper
  • talk excitedly and quickly about a lot of different things
  • be unable to focus
  • rapidly jump from task to task
  • experience sleeping difficulties and not feel tired
  • feel incredibly happy or act silly in an unusual way
  • engage in risky behaviors like drinking while driving
  • engage in compulsive behaviors like binge shopping
  • become overly sexual or sexually active
  1. Depressive episode symptoms in teens:
  • feel worthless, empty, and guilty
  • feel very down and sad
  • complain about stomachaches, headaches, or other aches and pains
  • sleep too much or too little
  • have little to no energy
  • have a loss of concentration
  • be indecisive
  • have no interest in activities or socializing with friends
  • overeat or not eat at all
  • think a lot about death and suicide

The Causes

While the exact cause of bipolar disorder has yet to be determined, researchers believe there are three factors that can be directly correlated with the development of this disorder.

In the Family

Teens with a family history of bipolar disorder have an increased risk of developing the disease. For instance, if your child has a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder, they’re more likely to develop the condition. However, this is a case by case basis. Most people with relatives who have bipolar disorder do not develop it.

In the Brain

Although brain scans cannot be used to diagnose bipolar disorder, researchers have found subtle differences in brain size and activity in people who have the condition. Scientists also believe concussions and traumatic head injuries can increase a person’s risk of developing the disorder.

In the Environment

Traumatic or stressful events, such as a death in the family, can trigger the first bipolar episode. Stress hormones and how your teen handles stress can also determine if the disease will emerge in an individual.

blueFire Wilderness

blueFire is a wilderness therapy program for adolescents ages 11-17 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, and/or bipolar disorder. The program uses adventure-based therapy as an effective approach to help students heal from the inside out. The mission at blueFire is to teach students healthy coping skills that they can apply to their everyday life. By unplugging from their fast-paced life and setting themselves in a supportive and peaceful environment, students are able to self-reflect and learn how their behaviors impact others. Communication, accountability, responsibility, and independent-functioning skills are all learned throughout a student’s stay. blueFire gives young men and women the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us @ 1-844-413-1999


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