Tips for Parenting a Bipolar Teenager

Parenting a bipolar teenager

Parenting a bipolar teenager can be nearly as difficult as the individual struggling with bipolar disorder. No mother or father can truly prepare for the delicate and patient approach it takes to parent a child suffering from bipolar disorder. Most importantly you must do so lovingly. Thankfully, there are helpful guidance and training measures you can learn from a bipolar specialist. The following information and tips can provide a vivid blueprint of how to raise a teenager who struggles with bipolar disorder.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, commonly referred to as manic depression, is defined by irregular, uncontrollable mood swings that cause drastic alterations in behavior. These mood swings commonly shift to opposite sides of the spectrum from extreme highs to extreme lows. These high and low periods can last for several hours, days, or even weeks before normalizing or even shifting to the extreme opposite. The most difficult aspect of these changes for all parties involved is they can appear and disappear without any apparent cause.

What are the Different Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, especially as it pertains to teens, is categorized into two classifications. Your symptoms will vary depending on the diagnosis between these two very distinct types. Without further ado, here are the two types of disorders a doctor will medically assess in order to provide the right treatment.

Bipolar I

Bipolar one is characterized by contrary emotional states consisting of manic episodes, bouts of depression, and sporadic episodes of supposed elation. These extreme contraries are emotionally and physically draining and require thorough understanding when parenting a bipolar teenager.

Furthermore, bipolar one sufferers will commonly experience hallucinations and periods of delusion. This means not only will they see what is not there. They will also believe circumstances and occurrences, such as conversations and events that never happened. It is important to understand this does not mean your teenager is lying. They do in fact believe certain instances or events have occurred when in fact they have not. Bipolar therapy experts can train you to deal with these instances properly as a parent of a teen with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar II

This form of bipolar disorder can often sneak in under the radar as many lead otherwise normal lives. However, it is no easier to cope with as sufferers will experience episodes of what’s medically referred to as hypomania

Hypomania, though less intense than the extremes suffered from bipolar I, is defined as hyperactivity of thought, mood, or emotion. People with bipolar II will often find it difficult to focus on individual tasks and experience racing thoughts or the inability to still their minds. People with bipolar II will also experience similar bouts of depression and extreme mood swings, but on a less severe scale than bipolar I.

What are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder shows itself in various forms depending on the individual and type of bipolar. Spotting and acting upon the observable symptoms can help you catch bipolar in its early stages as it can often escape detection in adolescents. Here are a few tell-tale symptoms to watch for.

Extreme And Sudden Mood Swings

As mentioned earlier, the most tell-tale sign of bipolar disorder is sudden and extreme changes in mood. These behavioral alterations often occur for no specific reason or in response to very minor infringements. If you or someone you love is exhibiting extreme shifts in behavior, especially without any apparent cause, seek a medical diagnosis as soon as possible.

Social Detachment

Being socially detached from social interactions or environments is a tell-tale sign of bipolar. This is especially the case when such detachment is exhibited uncharacteristically or suddenly without warning or cause. This means the struggling party will often be oblivious to their circumstance or even express discomfort or anger in the presence of others. If you notice this sign, it is often a silent cry for help that should not be disregarded. Heed the signs and take action by getting help for you or a loved one today.


Depression is a very frequent side-effect and symptom of bipolar disorder. Depression can either be a co-occurring condition alongside bipolar or be caused by bipolar. That’s why anybody showing signs of depression should be assessed for possible bipolar as an underlying cause or condition. Speak to a therapeutic diagnosis specialist today to find out what may be causing your depression and most importantly how to treat it.


Struggling with a difficult mental condition like bipolar can bring about more torturous experiences like insomnia. Bipolar can make the sufferer have a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep. This can be due to racing thoughts, being on edge, or without any cause. Thankfully there are many medications doctors can prescribe to help treat these uncomfortable insomnia instances.

Sudden Unprovoked Anger

Unprovoked anger can be triggered by even the most minor circumstances. They can even arise when circumstances are seemingly ideal or even happy. When noticing unprovoked anger, it is all the more vital to remain calm and patient. Meeting anger with anger, especially in the case of bipolar, will only exacerbate the issue. But a soft answer can often turn away wrath or at least keep the situation from escalating further.

Unfounded Excessive Energy

Bipolar’s contrary mood swings mean you can easily have unfounded excessive energy just as easily as extreme fatigue. That’s why excessive energy for no apparent reason is also a primary symptom of bipolar disorder. This can cause you to be hyperactive and over-functioning both mentally and physically.

Easily Distracted or Inability to Finish Projects

Some symptoms, like being easily distracted or the inability to focus, are misconstrued as attention deficit disorders. In fact, being easily distracted could be a symptom of an underlying or undiagnosed bipolar disorder. This could be a byproduct of racing thoughts, which is also a tell-tale sign of bipolar disorder. If you notice you or a loved one exhibiting this symptom in coordination with any of the aforementioned symptoms, seek medical diagnosis immediately.

4 Tips on Parenting a Bipolar Teenager

bipolar therapy

Everything you do as a parent is done out of love and parenting a bipolar teenager is no different. That’s why using the acrostic of L.O.V.E will remind you that all these tips should be performed under that premise. Each letter of the word love stands for a different tip you can utilize as highly effective techniques in helping your child. Here is an explanation of each tip, what it means, and how to utilize it in parenting a bipolar teenager.


Perhaps the most important thing you could do as a parent of a teen struggling with bipolar is to listen. This means hearing them out on how they are feeling and why they are angry or depressed. It’s important to let your child know you’re there to hear their feelings, fears, and depressive thoughts at any time without judgment.


This is where knowing the signs and symptoms of a potential episode comes into play. Observing these indicators helps prepare you to react proactively to sudden mood swings, bouts of depression, or manic episodes. A vital part of observing is acting proactively upon your observation whether it’s of yourself or on behalf of another. The problem is, knowing what to do in response to the symptoms is unbeknownst to many.

That’s where educating yourself through medical training comes in and why it’s the most vital aspect of bipolar disorder treatment. When you don’t know what to do, seeking professional help can teach you how to respond and react. In turn, you’ll experience how to keep your symptoms and condition at bay independently.


Verify means to seek medical approval for any uncertain methods or reservations you have in dealing with bipolar episodes. Verifying your handling and approach methods through a trained bipolar specialist will help you properly deal with a bipolar teen. This is especially important since how you handle a bipolar disorder sufferer can be the difference between bettering or worsening their condition.


The word empathize means to be understanding toward the feelings of another. This is vitally important when parenting a teen with bipolar as any form of aggression could push them farther away. Treating your child with delicate understanding is the emotional support they need to endure and thrive during these difficult times. Listening, observing, verifying, and empathizing with proper medical training helps you parent your struggling child in the best way possible.

Ironwood Maine is Your Solution to a Better Life

bipolar in teens

Bipolar disorder is a struggle that neither you nor your loved one has to face alone. Ironwood Maine can be your guidance, support, trainer, and solution to a better life given the right treatment. Parenting a bipolar teen is hard. Being a teen with bipolar disorder is even harder and takes the correct professional training and personalized treatment to manage symptoms.

 All those options and more are at your disposal thanks to our unique personalized treatment approach. We have all the individualized treatment options and therapy solutions you need to thrive. Don’t let another moment pass without getting the therapy you need and deserve as a family. Your solution to a better life and a brighter future starts by reaching out to our caring team of dedicated specialists now.

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