Raising a kid with bipolar disorder is not an easy thing. It usually causes a great deal of angst, not only in the child, but also in the other family members in the household. But, since there currently is no cure for bipolar, it is incumbent on everyone in the family to learn to deal with the situation.
There are several good treatments for bipolar disorder. When an adult has this illness, it is pretty standard for the doctor to prescribe one or more types of medication. With children, however, much more care is needed in prescribing medicines. This is because, a child is still growing and developing, and you want to ensure that any medications he is given will not adversely impact his brain development. So, as a result, even when medicines are prescribed for children, because of the limited dosages, they will not always have the same effect on a child as they would in an adult.
Due to the exaggerated effects that drugs can often have on a child, therapy is often just as important in treating children with bipolar as drugs are. A prime cause of anxiety in a child with bipolar is his not understanding what is happening to him. And, therapy is one of the best tools available for helping us to understand ourselves.
During the course of speaking with his therapist about his issues, the thought is that he will gradually come to gain an understanding of bipolar and the reasons why it is causing him to behave in certain ways. This understanding and demystification of the diseases help to calm his reactions to the illness. Therapy can also provide him with the psychological tools to better control his reactions when with friends and family or when alone.
There are many forms of therapy available in treating bipolar illness. But, one type of therapy that is particularly useful is something called social rhythm therapy. This is a fairly recent form of therapy but shows great promise in the treatment of bipolar disorder. It focuses on helping the child to establish and maintain daily habitual rhythms in their life.
Specifically, what this means is that the child will be advised and encouraged to set up regular patterns for his daily activities. This includes activities like sleeping, eating, exercising, and so on. For example, rather than going to bed at random times during the week, he is encouraged to go to bed at the same time every day.
So, likewise, for each of the normal activities that he does day to days such as eating, school, and other activities – he sets a regular schedule. By establishing regular patterns, he is subjected to fewer stresses throughout the day.
Recognition of how effective a form of treatment such as social rhythm therapy can be is important. It emphasizes the fact that, to be most effective, bipolar cannot be treated with drugs alone. By incorporating this type of therapy into his overall treatment, he is able to live a much better quality of life.