Trying medications :
1- Think about the benefits and drawbacks of the medications you want to give your child:
Medications are often used to treat bipolar disorder in adults, but their use in children is still controversial. It is recommended that you consult with your psychiatrist and doctor before starting your child on medication.
– People with bipolar disorder usually need to take medication for the rest of their adult lives. By starting the medication early, you can help your child prepare for adult life. It can help them get used to taking the medication at the right times of the day and understand what type of medication they respond best to.
– The downside is that the medications commonly used to treat bipolar disorder can cause neurological side effects in children under the age of six. Children may experience headaches, confusion, and loss of coordination. Lithium can also cause acne and weight gain, which can be a problem for teenagers.
– Spend enough time discussing the pros and cons of medication with your psychiatrist and doctor before deciding to give your child medication. You need to make sure that whatever decision you make is safe for your child.
2- Try mood stabilizers:
Mood stabilizers are usually the first medications prescribed for bipolar disorder. They usually treat and prevent the symptoms of mania, but they don’t help the symptoms of depression. Mood stabilizers are often prescribed along with antidepressants.
– Lithium, which is approved for use in children over the age of 12, is often used to treat bipolar disorder. Some teens and pre-teens respond well to lithium, but others may experience symptoms such as mood swings, dizziness, diarrhea, heartburn, constipation, and cold-like symptoms.
– Lithium and mood stabilizers, in general, can increase suicidal thoughts, especially in adolescents. Medication use should be closely monitored by the psychiatrist and physician
3- Ask about atypical antipsychotics:
If the child does not respond well to mood stabilizers, a psychiatrist or a doctor may suggest atypical antipsychotics. These medications are approved for 10 years old children and older. They help regulate mood and reduce symptoms of mania.
– Atypical antipsychotics can have a positive effect on children and adolescents, but long-term use is not recommended. Long-term use of this type of medication can lead to disorders that cause uncontrolled muscle movements in the mouth and hands.
– Gaining weight is a serious problem with the use of many atypical antipsychotics. Changes in metabolism can cause rapid and sudden weight gain that increases cholesterol levels and the risk of diabetes. Children and adolescents taking atypical antipsychotics should monitor their weight closely and follow a healthy diet while exercising regularly
4- Use antidepressants:
Antidepressants are often used along with other medications. Since mood stabilizers and antipsychotics tend to deal with manic symptoms, antidepressants can help you fight depression.
– The effectiveness of antidepressants in children and adolescents is still disputed. Although some children and teens respond well to them, studies show that using antidepressants with mood stabilizers does not produce better results than if the mood stabilizers were taken alone.
– Side effects include nausea, weight gain, headaches, and sleep problems. Although antidepressants are generally safe, the child should still be closely monitored while taking any medication for a psychiatric problem. For some people, antidepressants can lead to suicidal thoughts