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A-Z Teen Health Glossary


Teen Bipolar Disorder is Mood Disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood on a consistent basis, ranging from severe depressive lows to manic, hyper-active highs. The cycles of mood also correspond with energy level, ability to function, mental clarity, and there are even some physical factors. The severity of these swings in mood can be such that they disrupt or impair teens’ ability to function and engage in their day-to-day responsibilities, thereby causing negative effects in multiple aspects of their lives.


There are a number of different symptoms that can be experienced by teens with Bipolar Disorder, the most defining of which is these wave-like changes in mood. Within these cycles, the symptoms change, according to the highs and lows thereof. The “high” points of these mood cycles, referred to as “manic episodes,” are usually characterized by excess energy, inability to sleep, impulsive/reckless behavior, inability to concentrate, and/or quickly moving from one activity to the next. In stark contrast, the low mood end of these waves are called depressive episodes and are characterized by feelings of depression, including extreme, prolonged sadness, apathy, general negative attitude toward life, and thoughts of self-harm and/or suicide. Because teens experience the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder along these cycles, there is a spectrum of intensity as well as some overlap, depending on the particular day.

Within Bipolar Disorder, there are five different subtypes of the illness, including: Rapid Cycling Disorder, Cyclothymia, Mixed Episode Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar I Disorder, and Bipolar II Disorder. The differentiations of these subtypes are determined by the length and frequency of cycles which the teens experience.


High/Low appetite

Social withdrawal

Not enjoying activities


Quick temper



Treatment for Teen Bipolar Disorder often involves a combination of Talk Therapy and medication. Because extreme cycling between high and low moods and behaviors is often disruptive to teens living healthy, productive lives, medication is often recommended. For teens with Bipolar Disorder, medication can help to minimize the extremity of the mood swings, and therefore, protect teens from the corresponding extreme symptoms and behaviors. By helping to moderate the changing of moods that teens experience, medication is very successful in helping teens to gain relief from symptoms and furthermore, to more successfully engage in other treatment processes.

Talk therapy is also a very successful therapeutic method in treating Teen Bipolar Disorder and in fact, necessary counterpart to prescribed medication. By supporting teens to objectively observe and reflect upon both their thought patterns, triggers, causes of stress, and behaviors, therapists can help teens to change behaviors and to feel overall, less at the whim of their constantly changing moods. Furthermore, treatment also includes equipping teens with healthy ways of processing their feelings and dealing with stressors and difficulties that arise. Overall, thorough Teen Bipolar Disorder treatment will help teens to feel more steady in both their mood, energy, and behavior, which often leads teens to being able to engage consistently in all areas of their lives, and leads to them feeling more confident as well.

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of parents with bipolar disorder can pass it onto their children


of teens get drugs from friends and family


of adolescents with depression may be experiencing bipolar disorder

Paradigm Austin

Paradigm Austin is a teen treatment facility that provides top quality care to teens with Bipolar Disorder. Our Teen Bipolar Disorder treatment plans are all designed individually, and combine both traditional and progressive therapeutic approaches. Paradigm Austin provides residential treatment plans to teens from Austin and beyond and teens usually stay with us for about 4-6 weeks.

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