Signs That Your Teen Daughter Might Have Bipolar Disorder

If you have a teen daughter, you are probably very accustomed to the frequent mood swings she experiences; but at some point, you may wonder if the mood swings and other strange behaviors are normal. Teens can develop mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder, but it can sometimes be hard to tell if a teen has this or not. A teen's brain is not fully developed, which is why many teens have impulsive or unusual behaviors, yet there are some signs that can help you know if your daughter may have bipolar disorder.

Manic episodes

A key characteristic of bipolar disorder is something called manic episodes. A manic episode is a time in which a person experiences either extreme happiness or extreme depression. In most cases, the episode begins with a major high and then ends with a major low.

If you notice that your daughter is bouncing around the house, singing, or squealing with utter delight, and then the next day she is so depressed she never leaves her bedroom, this could be a sign of a manic episode.

If she is truly having a manic episode, the highs and lows will be very extremely and may even appear as though they are exaggerated. If it is truly a manic episode, your daughter will not be exaggerating her feelings, though. She will simply be acting out what her brain is telling her and what she feels.

Impulsive decisions

A second key characteristic of bipolar in teens is impulsive decisions that are highly risky. Teenagers are known for making bad decisions, so part of this is normal, but a teen with bipolar will do this more often, and the decisions will be riskier in nature. For example, a teen girl with bipolar may begin sleeping around with different guys every day of the week. While many teen girls are sexually active, most limit their activity when it comes to sexual intercourse.

Your teen might also start dabbling with drugs, and this dabbling might turn into a major addiction. Again, a lot of teens without bipolar also try drugs; however, teens with bipolar have a greater risk of developing addictions.

Because teenagers have brains that are not yet fully developed, they will often make bad decisions, and this is one of the reasons it can be hard for a parent to know if his or her teen is acting normal or has a mental illness of some kind.

If you are worried about your teen daughter, her mood, and the decisions she is making, it might be worthwhile to take her to counseling like NeuroHealth Arlington Heights to determine if there is a problem that needs to be addressed.