How to recognize Bipolar in Children?

Every child, just like every adult, experiences mood swings that can sometimes get out of hand or fluctuate at an alarming rate. In a bipolar child however, these episodes are extreme and interfere with his or her ability to function in school as well as other aspects of everyday life. A bipolar child can demonstrate any or all of the following:

  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Impulsive Behaviors
  • Deep Depression or Sadness
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Deliberate Defiance of Authority
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Nightmares or Night Terrors
  • Hyperactivity
  • Accelerated Speech Patterns
  • Inappropriate Sexual Behaviors (in older children and teens)

If your child is exhibiting these behaviors and you can pin down a pattern, he is a high risk of being a bipolar child. If there is a history of mood disorders in your family it could put them at an even greater risk. While science has yet to determine a specific gene for bipolar disorder, manic depression is known to run in many families.

Diagnosing a bipolar child can be much more difficult than diagnosing an adult. After all, it is only recently that conventional medical wisdom concluded that bipolar disorder does indeed manifest in children. Experts suggest you can help in making a proper diagnosis by keeping a regular log of your child’s behaviors and mood swings. Record any behaviors that fit those described above, and keep a record of sleep patterns. Pay special attention to the intensity of the symptoms as most children will experience them to some degree, you are looking for overwhelming symptoms that interfere with their activities. If you do have reason to suspect that you are the parent of a bipolar child, it is urged that you seek the help of a qualified professional. With early and proper intervention a bipolar child can go on to lead a useful, happy, and productive life.

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