16 Yr. Old Has Severe Manic Episodes
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Q:  16 Yr. Old Has Severe Manic Episodes

Dear Dr. Plyler,
My 16 yr old has been treated for bipolar depression with severe manic episodes where she becomes extremely angry and at times has violent behavior.  Her psychiatrist recommended placement in a group home.

The idea seems so inconceivable but at times when things are in the severe stage, things seem so out of control.

Is there any game plan that could keep my family together, in addition to the medication that quells these stormy outbursts?   

I would first consider her medication regimen.  Are there other medication options for controlling her mania that have not been tried?  Also are there possibly other illnesses contributing to her instability - anxiety, ADHD, etc?  As for more behavioral treatments,  I would discuss the options with her school first.  Are there interventions that can put in place at school or possibly a transfer to a school that is more equipped to deal with her mental illness? In addition I would recommend family therapy to better understand how to cope with her more severe episodes. A partial hospitalization program may also be a possibility - she would attend during the daytime but still come home at night.  If none of these options are available or are your daughter's condition worsens, you may need to place her in a group home to get the appropriate care.
Dr Plyler


Published August, 2011


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