Family intervention can help teens cope with bipolar disorder



According to the National Institute of Mental Health, at least half of all bipolar disorder cases begin before the individual is 25 years old.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, at least half of all bipolar disorder cases begin before the individual is 25 years old. Symptoms can be recognizable well throughout the adolescent years, and while prescribed medications such as Geodon are recommended forms of treatment, researchers are now discovering the potential benefits that the power of family can have on a young person struggling with this mental illness.

Researchers from the UCLA School of Medicine and Stanford University School of Medicine gathered 40 youth participants who averaged out to the age of 12 and displayed risks of possible bipolar disorder. The determination that they were on path to be diagnosed with the condition stemmed from showing numerous signs of a major depressive disorder, as well as having at least one first degree relative with bipolar disorder. The researchers then organized some of the subjects to undergo a family-focused treatment, in which the teens would attend 12 therapy sessions with family members over a four month period.

The intervention process for the adolescents dealt primarily with communication skills training, mood swing management strategies and further problem-solving skills that involved the surroundings of multiple family members. Those who were administered to the family sessional treatment were found to have recovered from their depression symptoms nine weeks after the beginning of therapy, whereas those receiving another form of analysis took 21 weeks on average. Another area of improvement for those in the interventions included better reported moods one year after the initial study took place.

Dr.  David J. Miklowitz, a professor at the UCLA School of Medicine and co-author of the experiment, stressed the importance of recognizing and helping control side effects of bipolar disorder at a young age.

"Catching bipolar disorder at its earliest stages, stabilizing symptoms that have already developed, and helping the family to cope effectively with the child's mood swings may have downstream effects that improve the long-term outcomes of high-risk children." Miklowitz said in a statement.

Indicators of bipolar disorder
According to Miklowitz, bipolar disorder is expected to become the sixth leading cause of disability for Americans by the year 2020. There are currently 5.7 million Americans living with this mental condition and it is crucial to be able to detect bipolar symptoms in adolescents regardless of their age. Some primary indications of bipolar disorder include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness or emptiness
  • Loss of appetite or frequent binge eating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems concentrating in class
  • Spontaneous irritability

If you or someone you know is displaying a combination of these side effects, consult with your doctor to see if a prescription for Geodon is right for you. You can buy Geodon at a Canadian online pharmacy.