Understanding bipolar disorder in children

Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as reported by self i. I feel sad or empty or others i.

Understanding bipolar disorder in children

However, more than one type of bipolar disorder exists. The controversy As mentioned earlier, mental health practitioners disagree about the symptoms of bipolar disorder in youth and how they differ from those in adults.

In adolescents, where the presentation of the disorder more closely resembles that seen in adults, there is much less controversy. More controversy exists in children when there appears to be a more chronic course, including more irritability and unstable moods, including severe temper outbursts.

While no one has the definitive answers to these questions, there are competing schools of thought on this issue.

Understanding bipolar disorder in children

Some experts feel that children with severe irritability, emotional instability, and severe temper outbursts are, in fact, suffering from bipolar disorder as it appears in childhood and should be treated accordingly. Other experts feel this approach will lead to the overdiagnosis of children who in fact suffer from disorders other than bipolar disorder.

These experts argue for a narrower definition of bipolar disorder which includes episodic mood swings, elevated or expansive mood—not just irritable mood—and grandiosity or inappropriate euphoria extreme joyfulness.

These experts clearly recognize that this Understanding bipolar disorder in children excludes a number of children with episodes of mood instability, explosive rage episodes, extreme irritability and agitation. There is no disagreement that children with these symptoms are impaired.

However, experts differ on whether or not such children should be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Experts also differ on what would be the most appropriate and effective treatment for them. There are also other factors that can seriously complicate the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children.

A history of severe emotional trauma such as physical or sexual abuse can lead to mood swings, emotional outbursts, hallucinations, and extremely severe behavioral problems, including sexualized behaviors that can resemble bipolar disorder.

Improving our understanding of all of these issues depends on further research into these disorders as they appear in children and adolescents. Fortunately, some of this research is currently underway and holds the promise of better answers to these important questions in the future.

Bipolar disorder in children and adolescents In adults, bipolar disorder commonly involves separate episodes of major depression, alternating with separate episodes of mania. In children mixed states a mix of mania and depression and rapid cycling mood swings may be much more common.

Understanding bipolar disorder in children

This can make the diagnosis of bipolar disorder much more challenging in these age groups. Many clinicians have observed that the symptoms of bipolar disorder appear to change as children develop, though these observations have not been confirmed by long-term studies. In younger children chronic irritability and mood instability without classic mood swings may predominate.

These symptoms most closely resemble a mixed state of the disorder. In older children and adolescents, episodes including euphoria, grandiosity and paranoia may predominate.

In all age groups hyperactivity, distractibility and pressured speech are seen. In general, the older the individual, the more the symptoms may resemble those seen in adults. ADHD, mania and depression may all involve inability to concentrate and problems with distractibility.

Mania and ADHD may both involve hyperactivity and impulsivity. Though the symptom overlap is significant there are several factors that can help to distinguish these disorders. ADHD in children usually does not involve mood symptoms such as depression and euphoria to the extent seen in bipolar disorder.

ADHD symptoms usually first appear early in childhood while the onset of bipolar disorder appears to occur later in childhood or adolescence 4. ADHD also usually involves normal sleep, at least once a child has settled down in bed and is ready for sleep.

Mania, in contrast, involves decreased need for sleep with the individual still "raring to go" the next day despite little sleep. The family history can be helpful, as both disorders appear to run in families.

Depression and bipolar disorder People who suffer from depression, including those who suffer from major depressive disorder, may also eventually exhibit symptoms of bipolar disorder.

It is harder to tell the difference between depression and bipolar disorder in children than in adults. Children with depression more often appear irritable than sad.Understanding Bipolar Disorder the world’s most widely used screening instrument for bipolar disorder, Sometimes parents and children disagree on symptoms.

The Bipolar Child – A New Emergence The bipolar child is a relatively neglected childhood diagnosis that is the subject of great controversy in the fields of clinical and child psychiatry and psychology. Understanding bipolar disorder understanding bipolar disorder. Understanding bipolar disorder This booklet is for anyone experiencing bipolar disorder.

It explains what bipolar disorder is, and how you can help yourself cope. It also explains what kinds of treatment are available, and what.

Many children with bipolar disorder have an additional mental illness, addiction, or behavior disorder. Some research has estimated that between 60 to 90 percent of youth with bipolar disorder may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as well. The purpose of this report is to help teachers and parents to better recognize the signs of bipolar disorder and to give those children a better chance at being successful in school, in collage and in the work field.

Insomnia, a common anxiety disorder symptom, is a significant trigger for manic episodes. Many children with bipolar disorder also suffer from at least one co-occurring anxiety disorder. The age of onset for an anxiety disorder often precedes the age of onset for bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder in Children