What to Expect When Diagnosing Teen Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that often manifests itself in the late teenage years, although it can start earlier than that. If a teen is experiencing violent or unexplained mood swings, a parent may begin to wonder if their child suffers from bipolar disorder. If you believe that your child may have bipolar disorder, it is important that you find a doctor and ask them about diagnosing teen bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is different than the typical emotional ups and downs that teenagers experience.  Bipolar is a medical condition that manifests itself in extreme mood fluctuations. People with bipolar disorder have episodes of depression and mania. Depression may characterized by fatigue, headaches, too much or too little sleep, and suicidal thoughts. A teen may be experiencing a manic episode of they seem unusually happy, they talk very quickly, they do not get a lot of sleep and they engage in risky behavior. These episodes can last for weeks.

When you take your child to a medical professional to ask about diagnosing teen bipolar disorder, you may be surprised to discover that there is no single test that will diagnose your child. Bipolar disorder will not show up in a lab test. Despite this, your teen will be given a physical examination to rule out other medical problems.

In order to diagnose your child, your doctor will ask questions about your child’s medical history and your family medical history because bipolar disorder often runs in families. Your child may also be given a mental health assessment to help identify their current mental state. If your teen is bipolar, the doctor will treat the diagnosis. This may include medication and counseling.

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