The prevalence of prior traumatic events (e.g. adoption, sexual abuse, divorce, etc.) for many youth suggest that there are environmental causes in play as well that may need to be processed therapeutically—that simply being on the “right” medications may not be enough. In such cases, residential treatment centers specifically tailored for adolescents struggling with bipolar can literally be life-saving. Parents with teens diagnosed with bipolar who have tried a variety of different medications over the years without too much success are those most likely to see benefit from such a residential treatment center.

Bipolar disorder Treatment Centers designed with the bipolar adolescent in mind will meet the various needs of that teen: a strong psychiatric component (assessment and ongoing monitoring); therapy and therapists trained to resolve any prior traumatic issues and/or damaging beliefs; fully accredited education while they are in treatment; and vitally important for those with a history of self harm or suicidal ideation, 24/7 staffing to help the teens develop skills and learn coping behaviors safely.

More recently, youth treatment has seen the introduction of a number of specialized therapies that can be very helpful to a bipolar teen. The skills of emotional regulation taught by dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) can be useful for a teen struggling with bipolar. The tactile lessons taught by equine-assisted psychotherapy (therapy with horses) and recreational therapy can also be powerful in teaching concepts less understood for many through words. Indeed, these supplemental therapies can combine with the traditional talk therapy and proper medication management to help young people make significant progress in working through past issues and in learning how to cope with what is typically a life-long challenge.

This is great news for parents not used to finding answers in dealing with bipolar. With the right residential treatment, many lives have been significantly changed for the better!

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