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A 33-year-old member asked:

How do you tell the difference between regular teenage girl puberty and bipolar disorder?

3 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Escobar
Dr. David Escobaranswered
Family Medicine 9 years experience
Bipolar Definition: Bipolar disorder is defined as alternating between periods of major depression and periods of high energy, or it is defined as having at least one manic episode with several periods of major depression. The mood swings associated with puberty are different from mental disorders, in that they do not seriously and adversely affect your life. People with mental disorders are often debilitated.
Dr. William Holmes
Child Psychiatry 34 years experience
Yes, a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder would require a severe level of difficulty of problems with mood swings with clear affects on daily functioning.
Feb 2, 2012
Dr. George Klauber
Specializes in Pediatric Urology
Bipolar disease often cycles over similar time frames, for example once every 6 months or yearly. Sometimes related to seasons of the year. Not the case with regular teenage behavior
Feb 20, 2012
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Adolescents: Adolescents have a wider range of mood swing & temperament problems than the usual population. Doctors take this into account when making the diagnosis in a teenager. The childhood & family history plays a big role in determining bipolar diagnosis. Please see your pediatrician or adolescent specialist to determine if you do have a significant problem. See the nimh website.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Adolescent Bipolar: Bipolar disorder in adolescents usually presents with mood swings, impulsive risk-taking behaviors, rage episodes, pressured speech, insomnia, and in severe cases, self-harm & psychotic symptoms.

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