Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

bpHope KIDS is a place for bipolar family support for caregivers of children & teens with bipolar. Learn about the treatments for bipolar disorder & get family support.

Highlights

8 Signs Your Child Might Have Bipolar Disorder

bp Magazine
November 12, 2016

An evaluation by a child/adolescent psychiatrist is the first step to a bipolar diagnosis. Here are eight symptoms that could warrant a visit to a mental health professional: #1 Manic Episodes Some signs your child may be experiencing mania, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP): Unrealistic highs in self-esteem, such...

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8 Things That Happen to Families with Childhood Mental Illness

Jay Boll, LMSW
October 12, 2016

While every family’s story is unique, there are universal themes in every family’s struggle that make us more alike than not. The movie No Letting Go does a remarkable job of depicting 8 themes that happen to families with childhood mental illness.   In one of the most famous opening lines in literature, Leo Tolstoy’s...

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ADHD or Bipolar? Detecting Bipolar Among Lookalikes in Kids

George T Lynn
November 1, 2015

Therapist George Lynn describes the fine differences between similar looking disorders in children: attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).   As a mental health counselor who works with children diagnosed with bipolar disorder and author of a book on the subject, parents often ask me to evaluate their elementary-school-age children...

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Blogs and Articles

How to Tell if Your Child Has ADHD or Something Else

bp Magazine
October 21, 2018

Being easily distracted in class or taking a long time to finish schoolwork may seem like hallmarks of ADHD, but consider these overlooked causes:   Undiagnosed learning disorder There are some things that may look like a child is distracted – such as looking everywhere but at the schoolwork in front of him – that...

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Need Help Communicating With Your Teen?

bp Magazine
October 21, 2018

It’s the stage of life when teenagers assert their independence; however, your relationship is more important than ever and good communication now is key: Just listen Easier said than done — especially when you want to know what’s happening in your teen’s life. However, kids are more likely to be “open with their parents if...

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When It’s More Than Just Picky Eating For Your Child

bp Magazine
October 21, 2018

With some children, an aversion to some foods can be more than just picky eating; find out if it’s time to seek help: What’s the aversion? There can be a host of reasons why your child is avoiding certain foods or food groups. As Child Mind Institute managing editor Rachel Ehmke explains, “some kids have...

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teens and social media

The Negative Effects on Teens From Heavy Social Media Use

bp Magazine
October 21, 2018

There’s more than just a link between excessive social media use and higher rates of teen depression; there are other effects to be aware of: Lower self-esteem This is especially true with teen girls because they are comparing themselves with a flock of celebrities, photoshopped to appear thinner, prettier, and rich. Teenagers mistakenly view these...

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Take the Stress Out of School Mornings for Kids with Bipolar

bp Magazine
September 29, 2018

School mornings—so much to get done, with so little time; here’s how to curb the conflict and get your kids out the door: Keep your cool Getting distracted kids ready for school early in the morning can be at the top of many parents’ frustration scale. If tempers start to flare, try and de-escalate things...

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How Bipolar in Kids Can Affect the Entire Family

bp Magazine
September 29, 2018

Depending on the extent of a child’s mood swings and how well they’re managed, there are various ways bipolar disorder can impact the whole family: Strict routines Generally speaking, a rigid schedule must be followed so the child with bipolar can manage her symptoms. This includes the same time each day for meals, study time,...

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3 Ways To Master New Routines For Children With Bipolar

bp Magazine
September 29, 2018

The back-to-school transition can be one of the most difficult things to get a handle on for children with bipolar disorder; change your routine: 1. Stress-less mornings After summer, one of the most challenging things for children with bipolar to navigate is an entirely new routine of getting ready for school every morning. Even if...

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5 Solutions To Help Your Child Deal With Social Anxiety

bp Magazine
September 29, 2018

As a parent of a child with bipolar disorder, it’s difficult to watch him struggle with social anxiety instead of having fun; here’s help: 1. Validate their feelings It’s tempting to want to minimize feelings of social shyness for kids, in an attempt to divert attention elsewhere. However, remember children may need some comfort before...

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mom of child with bipolar says don't lose hope

“Sticking It Out” with Your Child’s Bipolar Journey

bp Magazine
September 17, 2018

Patience, persistence and getting her own talk therapy helps mom navigate daughter’s seven year journey with bipolar. Michelle* encourages other parents to stay strong and never give up. Tell us when you first noticed mood changes in your daughter. Our story began when my child became scared of storms at a young age. After becoming...

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bipolar depression in teens

How to Spot Depression in Children and Adolescents

bp Magazine
September 6, 2018

Distinguishing between normal adolescent behavior and true depression is not always an easy task; here are a few expert tips for warning signs to help in the process: Anger or irritability Though it’s common to just look for symptoms of sadness or a depressed mood in your child, adolescents and teens can also exhibit externalizing...

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controlling angry outburst in kids with bipolar

Managing Angry Outbursts With Your Children

bp Magazine
September 6, 2018

As a parent, knowing how to respond effectively to your child’s tantrums can help minimize the possibility of future emotional outbursts; consider these tips: Understand the triggers Experts agree that the first step in helping your child with anger issues is understanding what triggers set off the outburst. For many kids, their meltdowns are predictable...

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manage back to school anxiety

3 Essential Tips to Manage Back-to-School Anxiety

bp Magazine
September 6, 2018

For some children the beginning of a new school year can prompt panic and separation anxiety; read on for tips on how to help your child have a worry-free start: #1 Keep calm It’s a lot of work, a.k.a. stress, for parents to get children ready for a new school year, what with new routines...

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Patricia Cohen PhD

Researcher Tracked Mental Health of 800 Kids Through Adulthood

bp Magazine
September 6, 2018

Dr. Patricia Cohen was known for tracking changes in the mental health of children over time and studying how parenting styles effected the children’s moods. The woman Patricia Cohen (1936 – 2018), raised in Minnesota, was a professor of Clinical Epidemiology in Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York...

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raising a child with bipolar

What I Wish I Knew About Raising a Child With Mental Health Challenges

bp Magazine
July 20, 2018

As a parent looking back to the years of raising a child/teen with either bipolar, ADHD or anxiety, the following tips would’ve been helpful to know: That education is essential Many parents looking back wish they had been more informed to the minutiae and particular symptoms of their child’s mental health challenges. Instead of just...

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guide to raising a child ith bipolar

The Ultimate Guide for Parents of Kids With Mental Health Challenges

bp Magazine
July 20, 2018

These parents have gone through it—whether it’s raising kids with bipolar, anxiety or ADHD—and they are offering up some words to the wise: Acknowledge and accept “None of us signed up for this journey. I know I didn’t and neither did my son,” says one mother of a son with bipolar disorder. “However, it is...

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when your child is diagnosed with bipolar

When Your Child is Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

bp Magazine
July 20, 2018

While there’s no handbook on how to cope with all the challenges, we asked parents who’ve lived through the diagnosis for their best coping strategies: Make sleep a priority Adequate rest is important for the entire family! Explains one parent: “In the early years of my son’s journey, we tried many options and the learning...

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what paretns of bipolar kids want the public to know

What Parents of Kids with Bipolar Want the Public to Know

bp Magazine
July 20, 2018

In a climate of stigma and unawareness, the right information matters; here are three things that parents of children with bipolar would like others to know: Bipolar is not contagious! Bipolar is a brain-based disorder and has symptoms that are more powerful than normal moods that kids without bipolar experience. “There was nothing my son...

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Top 10 Lessons Learned By Parents of Children With Mental Health Challenges

bp Magazine
July 20, 2018

Families are experts when it comes to helping kids who deal with bipolar, anxiety or ADHD challenges; so we’ve asked some parents to share what they learned along the way: #1 Make your voice heard While it’s wise to trust the professionals, you may also have to speak up and intervene if you feel your...

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Mom Shares Experience With Daughter After Her Own Bipolar Diagnosis

bp Magazine
July 2, 2018

With her daughter grown and stable, Lori* was hit with exhaustion, depression and a financial crisis leading to her own diagnosis at age 58. Q. What made you think there might be something amiss with your daughter? Looking back, my daughter came out of the womb as a difficult child. My first, and only child,...

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4 Ways to Help Kids Overcome the Cycle of Anxiety

bp Magazine
June 20, 2018

As parents we all want to protect our children from their anxieties, but we can inadvertently make things worse; here’s four ideas to help children manage anxiety. #1 Be positive, but realistic It’s OK to express your own confidence that your child is going to manage, and that every step she takes, her anxiety level...

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