Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teenagers

Have you ever noticed your child go through extreme mood and behavior changes? Do you hear people saying your child is much more excited and active compared to others? Maybe your child becomes either too excited or moody.

When these mood swings get too intense that they disrupt how your child acts at school or at home, it is advisable to consider calling a psychiatrist. Some children or teens having these issues may have a serious mental illness called bipolar disorder.

Formerly known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes strange and dramatic mood swings, shift in energy, sleep habits, activity levels and in general, the ability to perform daily tasks. The mood swings can be slow or abrupt, mild or extreme, and they can last from hours to days, sometimes weeks.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

Identifying bipolar disorder in children and teens can be a challenge. It is difficult to classify whether these are normal ups and downs or signs of a serious mental health concern.

The most common sign of bipolar disorder among children and teenagers is the extreme mood instability that are incomparable with their usual mood swings.

To name a few, here are common symptoms to watch out for:

  • Feeling very optimistic followed by despair or extreme sadness
  • Unrealistic thinking, can get delusional.
  • Fatigue
  • Intense angry outbursts
  • Abnormal sleeping patterns
  • Forget things often.
  • Unable to focus.
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Getting preoccupied with suicidal thoughts.

An individual experiencing bipolar disorder may have episodes that can worsen over time. These episodes may come along with the difficulty in sleeping, changes in moods, thoughts and behavior.

Moreover, those who suffer from these episodes have increased risk of suicide and addiction to drugs and alcohol. It is highly recommended for these individuals to have regular professional consultation and treatment.

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