Keeping an eye out for behavioral changes in bipolar teens is one of the most important things a parent can do. Even teens that are undergoing successful treatment for their bipolar will still display various levels of behavioral changes, most of which are easily managed when addressed early. Differentiating between normal mood swings and bipolar related mood and behavioral swings can be a tricky task, Monitoring or even recording trends behavioral changes is the best way to find the most effective solution when problems arise.
The stress and fatigue related to school, sports, and family life will often trigger normal, temporary mood swings. However, these mood swings may spur bipolar related behavioral changes, with the primary difference between the two being duration and intensity. Inadequate rest, unusually busy schedules, and physical ailments are a few factors that may contribute to the highs and lows typical to bipolar disorder. Parents should keep an eye out for silliness, hyperactivity, rushed speech, and short tempers, as these are all indicators of a manic episode. The onset of low and depressive periods often involve excessive sleep, inability to focus, withdrawal, and disinterest in daily activities.
It is difficult to know how long or intense bipolar related changes will be. Early intervention is the key; parents need to be educated in the most effective methods to prevent a full blown behavioral disturbance. Bipolar is a highly treatable disorder. A watchful eye will help ensure optimal management and help parents provide the necessary support and love during these difficult periods.