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Can my teen with bipolar disorder or depression have a normal life?

A diagnosis of bipolar disorder or depression can throw teens and their parents for a loop when it first arrives. Psychiatric terms can shake an individual's sense of identity. The teen may begin to see himself or herself as "sick" or "crazy." And how could a "sick" or "crazy" person ever have a normal, happy life?

The truth is: they do, all the time, every day—but only when their issues are addressed. Yes: it takes accommodations. Yes: it takes a willingness to reserve a lot of time and effort for symptom management and illness research. But those with treated mood disorders generally find ways to contribute to society and to their families.

Your teen will most likely work. They will most likely have friends and even spouses, but only if they and you fully accept the diagnosis and work to manage symptoms with medication, therapy and lifestyle changes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.