Make sure that they understand mood swings come and go, and it’s not their fault.
Children running around with so much enthusiasm and full of energy is every parent’s joy. We all expect our children to be in a good mood, show good behaviour and be attentive, whether its school or at home.
Sudden changes in mood, behaviour, energy level and attention can be regular though sometimes it can be due to a mood disorder called bipolar. Bipolar is a mood disorder that causes a sudden change in behaviour, mood attention, and energy level. Since the change in mood is very reasonable, it can be challenging to diagnose mood disorder.
Bipolar affects children and teens just as much as it affects adults. Orygen shows that about 3.4% of all the youth between ages 16-24 years in Australia have had bipolar. The fact that one can take so many years before getting the correct diagnosis is a big problem because administering the right treatment will take just as long.
Though bipolar isn’t curable, it can be managed by taking medication. Treatment of bipolar in children and teens is through a combination of psychoeducation, medicine, school mediation, and therapy. This article is going to shed light on how to administer treatment to children and teens after diagnosis.
Researchers believe that bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain and other than therapy and talk, medicine is essential to manage it. There are different types of medications to manage bipolar. Depending on the child, the combination of drugs varies.
Antidepressants manage the depressive phase of bipolar. Antidepressants are given together with antipsychotics or mood stabilisers. Taking antidepressants will help on the depressive episodes of the disorder, but the manic episodes may worsen.
Some of the antidepressants approved by the FDA and are known to work include Fluoxetine (Prozac) and Escilatpram (Lexapro). As a way to try and create awareness on the side effects of the drugs, a warning stating clearly that the drugs may increase suicidal tendencies is on the packaging.
Mood stabilisers are drugs that help manage the drastic shift in mood from highs to lows or vice versa. This medication is used together with antidepressants to take care of the manic and depressive episodes, respectively. Some mood stabilisers that are administered and work are Lithium and Valproic acid (Depakene).
Antipsychotics are drugs administered when young patients are showing signs of psychosis. Psychosis is when the patient is hallucinating and delusional. The drugs currently used to treat the psychotic episodes include Apriprazole, Olanzapine, and Risperidone.
Understanding the disorder is vital in helping children and young patients to cope. Comprehending the highs and lows that they experience due to the illness is critical in helping them to control their stabilisers through CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). The information on mental illnesses should be provided in schools, hospitals, churches, and other community organisations.
Even though they take medication, the mood changes may come, and they should always be ready. Helping the children find new ways to interact with friends and family after diagnosis will provide some normalcy to their lives. They are supposed to realise that there is more to them than the disorder and shouldn’t let it lower their self-esteem. A high sense of self-worth will help in taking care of themselves. Knowing that they are supposed to be their own number one care give will aid in living a healthy life.
Therapy comes as a combination of many different people. It comes through seeking professional help from a therapist for the children, talking with family and friends, and joining a support group.
A therapist helps keep tabs on the kid and know how he or she is faring and gauge the mood. Talking about how he feels is essential to prevent bottling up emotion, which may cause an episode. Family members should provide emotional support through the mood swings.
Introducing the kid and yourself as the parent or guardian to a support group provides both of you with an avenue to understand each other.
4. School mediation
If your child or teen is diagnosed with bipolar, the school should intervene by providing the kid with a specialised education program tailored to suit their needs. The school should be tailored to help the kid to succeed and live a healthy life in society.
Helping your child begins with getting the right diagnosis and treatment. Make sure that you are patient with him during his episodes. Encourage him to express himself more regardless of how good or bad he feels. Make sure that he understands mood swings come and go, and it’s not his fault.