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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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A good family friend has an 18-year old daughter with BiPolar

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A good family friend has an 18-year old daughter with BiPolar disorder and anxiety. I have know this girl for over 10 years and she has always been "troubled". She has always been verbally and physically abusive towards family members and peers and is very defiant and combative in general. Throughout high school she was in and out of partial hospitalization programs and has been seeing on-going psychiatrists. Over the course of this past year, her parents sent her to a residential psychiatric program in Utah that cost thousands and thousands of dollars. She has now since been home for a month and has been worse than ever. So my big question for you is what services and/or supports are available for 18-year olds with severe mental health illnesses? Are there shelters/mobile psych rehab centers available? Is the application process easy? Do they cost money? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Hi there
Thank you for writing in here.
I'm sorry to hear your friend's daughter situation.

Bipolar disorder is dysregulation of mood, attention and energy.
Children with Bipolar disorder typically exhibit temper tantrums, outbursts, meltdowns; anxiety, irritability, depression, and ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity and distractibility.

If she is dangerous to self or others or has suicidal thoughts, her family have to take her to an emergency room of a local hospital. Or call a local mobile crisis team or psychiatric emergency response team designated by his city and county to initiate psychiatric assessment and involuntary hospitalization.
Or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24 hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.

For her bipolar disorder, she needs to continue working with a psychiatrist (M.D.) and a psychotherapist. Treatment for bipolar disorder consists of pharmacotherapy (by psychiatrist), individual psychotherapy (Cognitive-behavior therapy - CBT) or Interpersonal therapy (ITP) by a licensed psychologist or psychotherapist), and group therapy or support group by a psychotherapist. Pharmacotherapy is a critical aspect of treatment. Individual psychotherapy will help her for support, ventilation of feelings, coping skills training, and direct advice. Group therapy is useful for her to address the issues – adherence to medication and therapy, regulation of self-esteem, and management of other psychosocial issues. Support groups are available in a local community clinic or a local hospital. Friends and family should join a support group to better understand the illness so that they can continue to offer encouragement and support to her.

Please review available Bipolar disorder treatments on the following link:

Ideally, she may need to be treated by a specialist in juvenile bipolar disorder.
Stanford University School of Medicine has experts. You may contact them and ask for a specialist in her area.
Please review -

Or call Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance(NNN) NNN-NNNNor The National Alliance on Mental Illness(NNN) NNN-NNNNto find experts (psychiatrists and child psychologists) in her area.

To find a group therapy or a support group for her, contact a local hospital or a clinic by asking if they offer a group for people with Bipolar disorder. If you like to find a support group online, check Mental Health America website section ( - Find a group in your area.
The book "Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder" by Julie A. Fast, John D. Preston PsyD ABPP may be helpful.

Please let me know if you have more questions. Best regards,

Dr. Olsen and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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