Bi-polar Affective Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious condition associated with severe mood swings. These usually last several weeks or months and are far beyond what most people experience. It usually starts during the late teenage years or more often in adult hood. A person experiences feeling of intense depression or despair and feelings of extreme happiness and elation. It is not clear what causes bipolar disorder, but it seems to be associated with genes.

Initial intervention from other Tier 1/2 services (Universal and Targeted services) prior to specialist CAMHS involvement 

GP assessment to exclude medical causes and to assess whether symptoms are severe or rather the more common experience of fluctuating mood that is noticed by many adolescents.

It is very useful if young people can keep a diary/monitor their mood for a few weeks before attending an appointment with CAMHS.

Online Support

NHS Self Help Guides Bipolar UK Bridge Support Young Minds

Service provided by Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service –   Tier 3

If significant numbers of indicators are present specialist CAMHS will provide assessment and intervention as appropriate.

May be offered
CBT/ family intervention/ mindfulness/ interpersonal therapy/ behavioural
Medication although not a first line treatment may be initiated by a Consultant Child Psychiatrist, in consultation with young person, their family and other specialist CAMHS practitioners who may be working with the young person.   Some medications should not be used for this condition and therefore assessment may take longer, the choices of medication may be limited.

The GP will be informed.