Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes devastation in the lives of those who are afflicted by it. While commonly believed to be a disorder that affects only adults, countless children and adolescents suffer from this illness as well. These children will act out in a number of different ways, oftentimes eliciting distressing consequences on not only their own lives, but on the lives of those around them. While the daily effects of bipolar disorder can be monumental, this is a condition that can be successfully treated. Through the use of therapeutic interventions, along with the implementation of appropriate psychiatric medications, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be successfully managed and these children can have a bright, happy future.
Resource Treatment Center is a residential placement for children and adolescents between the ages of 11 and 21 who are in need of a safe, secure, and structured setting while addressing behavioral and emotional impairments and deficits. All of our programs are designed to provide intensive mental health treatment for psychiatric, behavioral, and/or chemical dependency concerns in a comfortable and nonthreatening environment that is conducive to healing and recovery. At Resource, we recognize that having a child who is suffering bipolar disorder can be discouraging and leave you feeling helpless, but we are here to help both you and your child. Our compassionate staff has years of experience helping children learn to gain control of their symptoms and develop the coping skills needed to successfully move forward towards a bright and happy future.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Having a child who fluctuates between the extreme emotional highs and lows of bipolar disorder can be confusing, frustrating, saddening, and, many times, angering. While all children have mood swings and can display dramatic behaviors, the symptoms that define bipolar disorder are excessive and negatively impact a child’s ability to function on a daily basis. If you suspect that your child’s mood swings are indicative of a bigger problem, but are unsure as to whether or not his or her behaviors would warrant a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, here are some warning signs to look out for:
- Explosive temper tantrums, oftentimes without provocation
- Acting impulsively and recklessly
- Oppositional and defiant behaviors
- Decreased or increased need for sleep
- Isolation from family and friends
- Expressions of grandiosity
- Participating in manipulative behaviors
- Participating in self-harming behaviors
- Rapid speech
- Demonstrating feelings of restlessness / constant fidgeting
Depending on whether a child is experiencing a manic episode or a depressive episode, or is experiencing rapid cycling between the two, different symptoms will appear. However, if you have noticed any of these behaviors being displayed by your child, it would be extremely beneficial to meet with a mental health professional in order for your child to be evaluated. The earlier that treatment is implemented, the greater his or her chance for success becomes.
Why Consider Treatment at Resource
If you have been helplessly watching as your child alternates between manic highs and depressed lows, you are most likely feeling extremely concerned about what his or her future holds. You have probably seen a decline in your child’s academic performance, or maybe you are struggling to get him or her to attend school at all. You may also find that your child is consistently causing disruptions at school or causing disturbances in social situations due to his or her behaviors. Additionally, you may have noticed that during a depressive episode, your child becomes excessively withdrawn, begins purposely harming him or herself, or experiences chronic suicidal ideation. Fortunately, there is treatment available that can help your child overcome these devastating symptoms and regain hope for a successful future.
Residential treatment programs have proven to be successful in providing children and adolescents who are suffering from bipolar disorder the thorough and intensive treatment that they need. When children enter a residential program, they are being afforded the opportunity to step away from the stressors and routines of their everyday lives and find stability and comfort in a setting where their sole focus is on healing and becoming well once again. Residential programs also provide children with the safe environment they need in order confront their challenges, develop positive coping skills, and learn how to maintain successful medication management so that they can continue on the path to a healthy future long after treatment has ended.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
Resource Treatment Center is dedicated to providing structured and therapeutically intensive treatment that offers comprehensive, efficient, and effective programming that is designed to meet the needs of the youth and the families that we serve. At Resource, we focus on providing a safe and comfortable environment while the children and adolescents in our care receive individualized services tailored to meet their specific needs. We strive to deliver programming that allows youth to experience a sense of normalcy while taking part in the treatment process, while also benefiting from a vast array of services that are centered on an evidence-based therapeutic foundation. Maintaining the goal of stabilizing emotional, behavioral, and psychological symptoms, the staff at Resource guides patients through treatment so that they can be successfully reintegrated back into the community.
Types of Treatment Offered at Resource
At Resource Treatment Center, we utilize a number of sound, evidence-based practices that are designed to produce successful treatment outcomes. Upon arrival at Resource, each youth is evaluated using multiple assessment tools, allowing us to appropriate match therapeutic treatment techniques with each patient’s unique needs, risks, and strengths. We offer two separate, distinct residential treatment programs that include our psychiatric residential treatment (PRTF) and our general residential program (RTC). The intake assessment that our patients take part in prior to admission will determine which program is better suited to fully meet the needs of each child. We implement a phase system approach to treatment in which each patient is required to go through four specific phases in order to successfully complete programming. These phases include identification, connection, demonstration, and contribution. Both the PRTF program and the RTC program include the following treatment methods:
Medication management: Psychotropic medications are an integral part of fully treating the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Every patient who takes part in one of the programs here at Resource will meet with a psychiatrist regularly in order to monitor any medication needs. Youth in the PRTF program will see a psychiatrist on a weekly basis while those in the RTC program see a psychiatrist on a monthly basis.
Individual therapy: Individual therapy sessions are held on a weekly basis and are meant to be a time for each patient to meet one-on-one with a therapist in order to focus on the application and generalization of new skills. These skills can then be implemented in the child’s home and community life. We also offer individual skills-building sessions that focus on six specific proficiencies including: social, emotional, educational, health and wellness, self-care, and daily living skills.
Group therapy: Group therapy sessions are held at a minimum of once per day, but children may participate in more groups depending on their specific needs. We have a number of different types of groups that cover a variety of different topics, including mood regulation, anger management, social skills, independent living skills, and healthy coping skills. The main purpose of group therapy is to provide a structured, skills-based program that allows for learning skills to be developed while also promoting specific critical skills in a structured and encouraging setting.
Family therapy: Family therapy sessions are held at least every two weeks, but may occur more often if family members are local or request more sessions. During this time, therapists will move the family unit as a whole through the treatment process in order to enhance motivation and establish a collaborative approach. Additionally, every Tuesday night we hold a family night in order to help educate family members about their child’s disorder and treatment process.
School programming: At Resource Treatment Center, all patients attend a fully accredited on-site school for three hours each day. Classes are held in a traditional classroom setting and are led by fully qualified special education teachers. Additional school services are offered, including credit recovery and GED preparation.
In addition to our regular treatment techniques, we also offer a number of experiential programming options, including:
- Daily recreational group therapy
- Student council
- Girl Scouts (Boy Scouts program will be starting in the near future)
- Spiritual youth group ministry
- Teen outreach program
- Community volunteering opportunities
- Community outings
- Pro-social activities
- Computer lab
- Holiday activities
- Special ceremonies in which awards are given to celebrate successes
- NA meetings for youth who are struggling with substance abuse concerns
Other services that are offered as part of our comprehensive programming include:
- 24-hour medical and nursing coverage
- Crisis intervention
- Dental and vision care
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
All discharge planning begins once a child has been admitted to our program. Here at Resource, we place a high priority on effective discharge planning in order to ensure that all continuing care needs are in place before the child leaves our treatment center. We have a criteria put in place to warrant a successful discharge. The criteria that a child must meet in order to be considered safe to successfully discharge include the following:
- Youth has reached a level of stability where this level of placement is no longer needed
- Youth displays significantly improved conditions by exhibiting little or no maladaptive behaviors
- Youth is able to articulate plans to manage his or her emotional and/or behavioral responses in regards to various psychosocial stressors
- Youth is better able to manage potential family conflict
- The family of the youth has demonstrated a commitment towards successful reunification based on their level of participation in their child’s treatment
- There are reasonable expectations that the youth will be compliant with family rules and expectations, as well as remain free from legal involvement
- Youth has articulated plans to manage independent living skills, such as employment, school, etc.
- Youth has taken an active part in his or her discharge planning and can reasonably be expected to follow through on all aspects of that discharge plan
- Youth demonstrates the ability to maintain a lower risk of participating in unsafe behaviors that present them as a risk to the community