Bipolar Disorder in Teens

Symptoms of bipolar disorder most often appear in a person's early twenties, but it isn't uncommon for a person to begin showing signs of bipolar during their teenage years. While the core characteristics of bipolar disorder are the same in adults and teens, bipolar disorder in teens often has slightly different behavioral patterns and symptoms than that found in adults. For example, episodes of mania or depression are often shorter in adolescents with bipolar disorder, compared to the weeks or months typically found in adults with bipolar. Teens can even jump between mania and depression over the course of a single day. Mixed episodes, or periods with both manic and depressive symptoms, are often more common in teens with bipolar disorder.

Diagnosis

Bipolar disorder often manifests differently in teens than it does in adults, and making an accurate diagnosis can be difficult. The disorder can be mistaken for other illnesses, such as schizophrenia, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and unipolar depression. Some of these illnesses are common co-existing conditions with bipolar disorder in teens, further confounding a diagnosis. Careful observation, a complete mental and physical health history, family history of mental illness, and information from friends and family can all help a mental health professional arrive at a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in a teenager.

Symptoms

Symptoms of mania in teens may include:

  • being unusually happy or silly, or unusually irritable, angry, or aggressive
  • excessive talking, often at high speeds
  • feeling all-powerful
  • inability to concentrate; easily distracted
  • sleeping very little but maintaining high energy
  • risk-taking behavior

Symptoms of depression in teens may include:

  • frequent sadness, crying, or irritability
  • suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death
  • low energy, fatigue
  • trouble concentrating; complaints of boredom
  • loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities

Related Articles

Bipolar Disorder Facts

More Articles

It is estimated that nearly 1.2% of the population in the U.S. has schizophrenia. The disorder can vary in terms of severity and manageability,...

A diagnosis of schizophrenia can bring about a limitless number of changes...

Creatine is a type of acid naturally manufactured by our liver, pancreas and kidneys. One of its primary roles in the body is to provide energy...

There are two commonly used sets of criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia and other mental health disorders: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual...

There are a number of talented musicians who have suffered from schizophrenia at some point in...

More Articles

More Articles

It is estimated that nearly 1.2% of the population in the U.S. has schizophrenia. The disorder can vary in terms of severity and manageability,...

A diagnosis of schizophrenia can bring about a limitless number of changes...

Creatine is a type of acid naturally manufactured by our liver, pancreas and kidneys. One of its primary roles in the body is to provide energy...

There are two commonly used sets of criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia and other mental health disorders: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual...

There are a number of talented musicians who have suffered from schizophrenia at some point in...

People in the prodromal phase of schizophrenic experience what can be called...

The term "schizophrenic break" refers to an episode of acute psychosis in someone with...

Treating schizophrenia with medication often yields positive results. Nowadays, there are many...

Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (or, in other words, the physiological...

Scientists have been studying schizophrenia for a long time, trying to determine what...

An estimated 30% of people with schizophrenia have refractory schizophrenia, which means their...

While most people can’t fathom purposely hurting themselves, self-injury is not uncommon with certain types of psychiatric disorders. Although it...

Although schizophrenia goes back several thousand years, this most serious of psychiatric disorders was not officially coined “schizophrenia”...

The neurotransmitter serotonin is known to influence a number of important brain functions, including perception, mood, sleep, appetite, cognition...

There are a number of different research methods used in psychology, but one of the most interesting to the layperson is the case study. Case...