If you have an adolescent who has been diagnosed with teen Bipolar Disorder, one challenge you experience is managing his or her moods. Supporting your teen through the depression and especially the mania might feel overwhelming. Mania, in particular, can be accompanied with risky behavior, impulsivity, overspending, and other dangerous behavior.
First, you might want to document the cycles of your child’s moods. You might even jot down the signs that indicate the beginning of a manic period. This can help you determine when your child is about to experience an increased level of energy and also prepare you for what may come as a result. For instance, perhaps your teen will soon ask for the car keys, or leave the house announced, or call a friend and carry on a conversation with a raised voice. Whatever the expression of mania, knowing what the signs are in advance and knowing what might be forthcoming can help you provide the care you know your teenager needs.
However, if you’re seeing the upward spiral, the best course of action is to contact your child’s psychiatrist. Doing this not only can help minimize escalating manic symptoms, but you also get professional help on your side. The psychiatrist will likely examine the medications your child is taking, whether your teenager is actually taking them as prescribed, and perhaps make an adjustment to the prescription.
After you’ve sought professional assistance, you might also consider the following strategies to control any escalating symptoms of mania:
- Make sure your teenager is taking his or her prescribed medication.
- Maintain a regular sleep-wake cycle and be sure your child is in the house before dark.
- Chart moods and sleep patterns.
- Encourage your adolescent to avoid alcohol, drugs, and all other substances.
- Demand that your teen give up the keys to his or her car, if they have one.
- Assert that your child not make any major life decisions while in the middle of a manic episode.
- Strongly advise your teen to not manage large sums of money.
- Minimize the levels of stimulation in the house and, as much as possible, create a sense of serenity at home.
- Impose appropriate consequences if your child engages in abusive behavior.
- If your child is experiencing a manic episode and he or she is engaging in risky or dangerous behavior, call the police.
Finally, and perhaps this goes without saying, your relationship with your child is crucial. The mood swings are just as frightening for your child as well. Whenever possible, be sure to communicate how much you love and accept your child for who he or she is.
If you are reading this on any other blog than Parent Treatment Advocates or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
Come and visit our blog at http://ParentTreatmentAdvocates.org