Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is characterised by extreme mood swings. These mood swings can range from periods of mania, or feeling overly happy and energised, to periods of depression, or feeling very low and hopeless. While bipolar disorder can occur in adults, it is also often diagnosed in children and adolescents. If you are concerned that your child may be displaying signs of bipolar disorder, read on to learn more about the symptoms and how you can help your child cope.
Mania in bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings. The highs, or manic periods, can be very intense. They may last for days or even weeks. During these times, people with bipolar disorder may feel like they can do anything. They may feel full of energy and have trouble sleeping. They may also become more impulsive and take risks that they wouldn’t normally take.
The lows, or depressive periods, can be just as intense as the highs. During these times, people with bipolar disorder may feel hopeless and helpless. They may have trouble getting out of bed and may not want to see friends or family.
Mania and depression are the two extremes of bipolar disorder. But there are other symptoms as well. People with bipolar disorder may also experience:
- Racing thoughts
Children with bipolar disorder may also have behaviour problems at school. They may get into fights or argue with teachers. Some children with bipolar disorder may also attempt suicide.
Depression in Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings. People with bipolar disorder can have periods of feeling very happy and energized (known as manic episodes) followed by periods of feeling very sad and low (known as depressive episodes).
Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in children. This is because the symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another. Some people with bipolar disorder may only have manic episodes, while others may experience both manic and depressive episodes.
There are a number of different signs and symptoms that may be associated with bipolar disorder in children. It is important to remember that not all children with bipolar disorder will display all of these symptoms.
Symptoms of a manic episode may include:
- Increased energy levels
- Excessive talking
- Racing thoughts
- Difficulty sleeping
- Risk-taking behaviour
Symptoms of a depressive episode may include:
- Low energy levels
- Feeling sad or empty
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
- Sleeping too much or difficulty sleeping
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulties concentrating or making decisions
Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified
Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BDNOS) is a type of bipolar disorder that is characterised by symptoms that do not meet the criteria for either bipolar I or II. BDNOS is sometimes referred to as ‘sub threshold bipolar disorder’ or ‘borderline bipolar disorder’.
While the symptoms of BDNOS can vary from person to person, there are some common signs that may be indicative of this disorder. Children with BDNOS may have mood swings that are less severe than those experienced by children with bipolar I or II. They may also have periods of depression or mania that last for less than seven days.
Symptoms of BDNOS in children may also include:
- Aggressive behaviour
- Mood swings
- Intellectual problems
One of the most common signs of bipolar disorder in children is cyclothymiacs. Cyclothymic is a form of emotional instability characterized by extreme mood swings. Children with cyclothymiacs may experience periods of mania followed by periods of depression. These mood swings can be very disruptive to a child’s life and can make it difficult to function on a day-to-day basis.
There are several techniques that can be used to help cope with the anger and anxiety associated with cyclothymic. One technique is to develop a support network of family and friends who can provide emotional stability during periods of extreme mood swings. It is also important to learn how to recognize the signs of an impending mood swing and take steps to prevent or reduce the intensity of the swing.
Unusual behaviours and symptoms in children with bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is characterised by extreme changes in mood and energy levels. These changes can be so severe that they interfere with a person’s ability to function in their everyday life. Although bipolar disorder is most often diagnosed in adults, it can also occur in children and adolescents.
There are several different signs and symptoms that may indicate that a child has bipolar disorder. It is important to keep in mind that not all children with bipolar disorder will display all of the following signs and symptoms. Additionally, the severity of symptoms can vary greatly from one child to another.
Some of the more common signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder in children include:
- Unusual changes in energy levels – a child may be unusually active or extremely irritable
- Changes in sleep patterns – a child may have difficulty sleeping or may sleep for long periods of time
- Changes in appetite – a child may overeat or lose interest in food altogether
- Extreme mood swings – a child may be excessively happy or cheerful one minute and then suddenly become angry or upset the next
- Poor concentration or attention span
- Acting out or engaging in risky behaviours
Anger and anxiety management techniques
If you’re the parent of a child with bipolar disorder, you know how difficult it can be to cope with the outbursts of anger and anxiety. Here are some tips and techniques that may help you manage these symptoms:
- Create a routine for your child. Having a set schedule can help provide structure and stability for children with bipolar disorder.
- Teach your child healthy coping mechanisms. Help them learn how to express their feelings in constructive ways, such as through art or writing.
- Encourage physical activity. Exercise can help relieve stress and improve mood.
- Promote healthy eating habits. A nutritious diet can help stabilise mood and energy levels.
- Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Sleep is essential for managing all types of mental health disorders.
- Seek professional help if necessary. If you’re struggling to cope, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional for guidance and support
There are many signs of bipolar disorder in children, and it is important to be aware of them so that you can get your child the help they need. Some common signs include extreme mood swings, impulsivity, irritability, and anxiety. If you notice any of these signs in your child, it is important to talk to a doctor or mental health professional so that they can get the help they need. There are techniques that can help children cope with their bipolar disorder, such as anger management and anxiety reduction techniques. With the proper treatment and support, children with bipolar disorder can lead happy and healthy lives.
Frequently asked question
What are the four types of bipolar?
Among the symptoms include bipolar I. Of the four forms, bipolar I disorder is the most prevalent; maniacal II – the fluctuation between depressive and less severe hypomanic episodes is a hallmark of bipolar II disease; cerotype illness; and bipolar disorder without specifics.
What causes bipolar disorder?
According to research, the fact that bipolar disorder frequently runs in families and that some people are more predisposed to the condition than others due to certain genes. No single gene can cause the condition; multiple genes are involved. But there are other factors besides genes.
What age is bipolar diagnosed?
Although it more seldom happens in children, the average age of onset is around 25. About 2.8% of Americans have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and almost 83 percent of those cases are considered severe. Both men and women are equally affected by the condition.
What drugs can trigger bipolar disorder?
Levodopa, corticosteroids, and anabolic-androgenic steroids are medications having a known propensity to produce manic symptoms. Patients with pre-existing bipolar affective disorder may experience mania when using antidepressants from the tricyclic and monoamine oxidase inhibitor groups.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.