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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)
Lifestyle Changes In Relation to Bipolar Disorder
I am trying to learn more about lifestyle issues that accompany the treatment regime for a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Do they have sleep disorders and weight gain brought on by the medication? If yes, how do they cope with these two areas? Are there any online references that I can learn more about these two topics? books?
Thank you for your excellent questions regarding "lifestyle issues that accompany the treatment regime for a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder."
With respect to your question, "Do they have sleep disorders and weight gain brought on by the medication?" and " If yes, how do they cope with these two areas?"
1. Yes, children, teens and adults who have bipolar disorder frequently report sleep problems associated with mania (a decreased need for sleep), depression (problems falling/staying asleep, waking-up too early or sleeping too much) and as a side-effect of the medication. Although weight-gain is not a symptom of mania, it can be a symptom of depression. It can also be a side-effect of medication. The key question to answer is did these problems begin with the medication or were they occurring even before the onset of meds?
2. Regarding coping with sleep problems and weight-gain. If these problems are due to the medication, talk to the prescribing M.D. about them and ask him/her about ways to help. Sometimes a change in the time meds are taken, the dose, the type of medication or even the addition of another medication can reduce side-effects. If these problems are not due to the medication, seek the assistance of a therapist trained to treat mood disorders of childhood, adolescence or adulthood.
3. Regarding "online references that I can learn more about these two topics? books?" Take a look at the following.
For Adults with Bipolar Disorder:
- Depressive & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) 1-800-826-3632, local chapter: 614-792-9749
- The Bipolar Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know --D.J. Miklowitz
For Children/Teens with Bipolar Disorder:
- Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF) 1-847-492-8519.
- Raising a Moody Child: How to Cope with Depression and Bipolar Disorder -- M.A. Fristad & J.S. Goldberg-Arnold
- The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child --J. Lederman & C. Fink
I hope my answers are helpful.
Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University