Psychiatrist Questions Psychiatrist

What is the best way to help bipolar children?

My 14 year old was just diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. What is the best way to help bipolar children?

3 Answers

The best way to support bipolar children is to be both empathic and understanding while also giving them confidence and strength to understand their mood issues, and how to navigate and modulate their mood, and potentially regulate their mood. Do this in conjunction with a primary therapist and psychopharmacologist. It’s very important to understand that every human being has mood issues, and part of our growth as people include how to be aware of our moods, track them, and learn how to deal with them in a positive and constructive manner. I’m a big believer in using a mood calendar as a tracking device. The national Institute of mental health at one time had a mood chart that would help an individual be aware of their moods, and notice mood trends. This would be beneficial for all of us. There are certain trends that may indicate a need for increased talk therapy and possibly change in medication. It’s important to be concrete about the parameters. Would actually discuss with the primary therapist and psychopharmacologist as to when it is important to contact them, and never to hesitate to ask for help and direction. Medication is often a component in helping people with mood issues, as is stress reduction techniques.

Lance Steinberg MD, Inc.
Assistant Clinical Professor
UCLA (Geffen) NPI
See beyond the diagnosis and take their words and emotions seriously by listening to them with empathy. Help them hold space for overwhelming and intense emotions by modeling that you are not afraid to hear them in their full truth. Seek medical attention as necessary, but even in the room talking about medication, remember the person is not a diagnosis.
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