Suicide is another huge concern in teenage bipolar. Suicide is the third leading cause of death between the ages of 15 - 25 in the general population and bipolar disorder increases this risk, but by how much is unknown. In teenage bipolar, males in their first years of treatment are most likely to commit suicide. Lithium drastically reduces the risk of suicide among adults and may reduce the risk of suicide in teenagers with bipolar disorder but specific study data is not available.
Treatment for teenage bipolar is similar to that of adult bipolar disorder: medication, and support (). Medications used to treat adults are often helpful in stabilizing mood in teenagers with bipolar disorder. Most doctors start medication immediately upon diagnosis if both parents agree.
Because the specific set of symptoms of bipolar in teenagers may be different than those in adults, teenage bipolar is commonly misdiagnosed as:
Bipolar disorder in teenagers is not clearly defined as only is set out in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). Moreover, the proposed next revision of the DSM still does not contain symptoms of teenage bipolar disorder.