- Does your child go through intense mood changes?
- What is bipolar disorder?
- Who develops bipolar disorder?
- How is bipolar disorder different in children and teens than it is in adults?
- What causes bipolar disorder?
- What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
- Do children and teens with bipolar disorder have other problems?
- How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?
- How is bipolar disorder treated?
- What can children and teens expect from treatment?
- How can I help my child or teen?
- How does bipolar disorder affect parents and family?
- Where do I go for help?
- I know a child or teen who is in crisis. What do I do?
- Contact us to find out more about bipolar disorder.
How is bipolar disorder treated?
Right now, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. Doctors often treat children who have the illness in a similar way they treat adults. Treatment can help control symptoms. Treatment works best when it is ongoing, instead of on and off.
1. Medication. Different types of medication can help. Children respond to medications in different ways, so the type of medication depends on the child. Some children may need more than one type of medication because their symptoms are so complex. Sometimes they need to try different types of medicine to see which are best for them.
Children should take the fewest number and smallest amounts of medications as possible to help their symptoms. A good way to remember this is "start low, go slow". Always tell your child's doctor about any problems with side effects. Do not stop giving your child medication without a doctor's help. Stopping medication suddenly can be dangerous, and it can make bipolar symptoms worse.
2. Therapy. Different kinds of psychotherapy, or "talk" therapy, can help children with bipolar disorder. Therapy can help children change their behavior and manage their routines. It can also help young people get along better with family and friends. Sometimes therapy includes family members.