Treatment For Bipolar Disorder In Children

Treatment For Bipolar Disorder In Children | Lifestyle Change, Psycho-Social Treatment & Medication Benefit Greatly

Treatment for bipolar disorder in children: Medication, coping, psychosocial treatment, parental, family involvement. Lifestyle changes

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Why should you treat

Treatment for bipolar disorder in children: Treatment of Bipolar disorder in children is somewhat different than in adults. Recent evidence shows that BD identified in childhood can often persist into adulthood.

Forty-four percent of children diagnosed with BD continued to have manic episodes as adults, in the study by NIMH grantee Barbara Geller, M.D., and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis.

Other studies indicate 20% continue to have problems. Outpatient visits with US physicians for pediatric bipolar disorder increased by 40-fold from 1994 to 2003.

As indicated in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Practice Parameter for the treatment of Childhood Bipolar Disorder, “a comprehensive multimodal treatment approach combining psychopharmacology with adjunctive psychosocial therapies is almost always indicated for early-onset BD”

Bipolar Disorder is treated with medication, psychosocial treatment, and lifestyle changes. 

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Medications

Medications used to treat adult bipolar disorder is increasingly being used to treat children. Unfortunately, many of the medications are not approved by the FDA(US Federal Drug Administration) for children below 8 to 10 years.

The medications fall under two main types. Those to reduce mania and those used to stabilize moods.

  • Antimanic medications include lithium, atypical antipsychotics like risperidone, Aripiprazole, Olanzapine, and Quetiapine.
  • Mood stabilizers used are mainly the antiepileptics like Carbamazepine, divalproex sodium, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine and topiramate in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder.
  • Many of the medications have side effects that need to be managed (e.g., weight gain, extrapyramidal symptoms, somnolence, and gastrointestinal symptoms). Regular physician supervision and blood tests are needed.

Treat Co-Morbidity

The second goal of treatment is to target co-occurring conditions (e.g., ADHD and anxiety)

Stimulants and Antidepressants like serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are harmful and may increase mania if given without mood stabilizers.

Treatment For Bipolar Disorder In Children | https://www.singhaniaclinic.com/treatment-for-bipolar-disorder-in-children Lifestyle Change, Psycho-Social Treatment & Medication Benefit Greatly

Treatment For Bipolar Disorder In Children

Treatment for bipolar disorder in children: Enter your details in the form below and get answers to the top 12 questions prospective patients ask or clicking here

Treatment

Psychosocial treatment: This forms an important part of how bipolar disorder is treated in children.

Psychoeducational treatment includes the  following:

  1. Increase knowledge and understanding of Childhood Bipolar Disorder and its treatment
  2. How to improve management of the symptoms of PBD and associated conditions
  3. How to improve communication and problem-solving skills in the child and teen
  4. Help  parents in behaviour management and how to become advocates for their child

Social skills training and coping treatment

The child and teen are helped to explore the relationship between stressful life events, including interpersonal problems, and their mood swings;

Children are taught to develop a “toolbox” of coping skills

  • For example, they are taught to identify enjoyable and calming activities that can be used to combat negative emotional states.
    • Creative like doing art or music.
    • Physical aerobic exercises like playing football or swimming.
    • Social – hanging out with friends.
    • relaxation –  teaching relaxation like yoga, deep breathing etc. The children are also taught skills for managing their emotions.
  • Improving their verbal and nonverbal communication skills.
  • Controlling impulses.

Parent involvement is crucial. They too are given skills in

  • How to deal with tantrums, oppositional behaviours.
  • How to avoid situations that can precipitate meltdowns.
  • Identifying and understanding stress factors surrounding the family and trying to remove them.
  • Family treatment to improve communication between parents and child.

Lifestyle changes

Bipolar Disorder is treated through lifestyle changes. Encouraging healthy habits focuses the importance of adequate sleep and a wholesome diet.

This is important because mania can be triggered by disrupted sleep patterns and weight gain is associated with the psychotropic medication and depressive symptoms. Thus

Sleep hygiene

Sleeping for at least 8 hours at night, having a set bedtime routine, avoiding gadgets at bedtime, avoiding stimulants like coffee, sodas and too much excitement around bedtime and proper room temperatures and darkness to promote sleep.

Proper nutrition

Would include at least 5 portions of vegetables and fruits, avoiding junk food and supplements like multivitamins and  Omega 3.

Adequate Exercises

Promoting a healthy active lifestyle helps prevent mania and depression. Regular outdoor play, sports activities, and games are essential.

Relaxation

Giving both parents and children adequate time to wind down and teaching specific relaxation techniques.

Treatment For Bipolar Disorder In Children | https://www.singhaniaclinic.com/treatment-for-bipolar-disorder-in-children Lifestyle Change, Psycho-Social Treatment & Medication Benefit Greatly

Treatment For Bipolar Disorder In Children

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Treatment For Bipolar Disorder In Children was last modified: March 20th, 2017 by Dr. Rajeshree Singhania