bi-polar disorder in teenagers

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 4/29/2005 5:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, my nephew was diagnosed as bipolar a couple of years ago. He is 16. I was wondering if anyone on this message board has experience with bipolar disorder in teenagers. He is having such a hard time of things. He sees a pychologist and is on medication, but the medication has to be contantly adjusted and he cycles two or three times a month anyways. Isn't the medication supposed to make him feel more normal? He is failing all his classes and and he ends up missing class several days a month. He was already been held back 2 years so my sister is very concerned that he might not graduate high school. Was/is  there any certain type of med that worked for you or someone you knew at this age? The Psychiatrist wants to put him on antipychotic drugs on a daily basis so he won't have as much cycling (Am I spelling that right?). Anyways, I'd really appreciate any input from you all.

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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 5/1/2005 9:20 AM (GMT -7)   

What you are describing is rapid cycling, and is very tricky to treat.  I have bouts with it myself.  It can vary from one day to the next sometimes.   My meds have to be adjusted on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis, however fast I'm cycling.

All BPs are different; there is no one "cocktail" that works for everyone.  It takes constant contact with the pdoc to report progress or lack of.  A lot of people just take what they are given, thinking the doc knows best.  Not true.  Only the patient knows, and with BP the patient is just as responsible for their progress as the doctor, in fact moreso.  Don't wait for the mania/depression to progress.  Watch for the first signs and report them early.  Antipsychotics are excellent for rapid cycling, along with mood stabilizers and some kind of antidepressant also.  Lots of times, it's all three, but the kinds of each varies with each patient.  All patients don't tolerate all meds.  And it takes a while for some to start to work.  BP is hard to treat, period, and usually doesn't stay the same.

I was also BP as a teen, it's not uncommon.  The key is for family and the patient to get as educated as possible about this disease, that way the patient can have optimum results.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 5/1/2005 1:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, I really appreciate the info! My sis and nephew try to stay on top of things, but its sometimes hard for her to know if he's just being a teenager, or starting to cycle. Are there any good websites or other resources I could refer her to?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 668
   Posted 5/1/2005 9:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Try this website for info on BP.
Diagnosed with epilepsy and ulcerative colitis in 1979,
Been on meds ever since.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 5/2/2005 12:43 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks Randy!
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