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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Lifestyle Changes In Relation to Bipolar Disorder

01/26/2005

Question:

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?

Answer:

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:

 

For Children/Teens with Bipolar Disorder:

I hope my answers are helpful.

Best wishes!

For more information:

Go to the Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University