Bipolar Symptoms in Children

2013 Bipolar Update

Bipolar Symptoms in Children

Medical statistics in the last few years have shown a marked increase in the number of children with bipolar disorder which is why being familiar with bipolar symptoms in children is very important for early diagnosis. Do not take this lightly; the earlier that doctors diagnose bipolar disorder, the higher the chance that the child will recover from the illness before hitting adolescence.

It is only prudent, therefore, to watch out for signs that give away the slightest hint that something may be wrong. Of course, with children being children, this task is something that is easier said than done. It’s not as if children can vocally express the psychological effects of their symptoms. It is imperative, therefore, that parents and guardians take it upon themselves to be very vigilant about the potential symptoms that can help elucidate the presence of bipolar disorder in children.

In the succeeding paragraphs, we will look at some of the more common symptoms subdivided into whether these constitute mania or depression in children.

Mania symptoms. The most common bipolar symptoms in children which fall into the mania category include hyperactivity, impulsivity, restlessness, excessive goofiness or silliness, aggressive behavior, thoughts that are racing too fast which prevent them from sustaining conversations for extended periods, or excessive risk-taking behaviors. Again, in the case of children, these are very hard to spot since children, by nature, are curious, impulsive, and hyperactive.

Depressive symptoms. On the flip side, depressive symptoms for children include low self-esteem, withdrawal from social interactions, oversensitivity, particularly to emotional stimuli, and a marked tendency for not wanting to get up in the morning regardless of what you do.

Doctors typically suggest looking for the combination of these symptoms as a trigger for determining the likelihood that bipolar symptoms in children is present. In many cases, erratic fluctuation of behavior is a dead giveaway for bipolar disorder. One day, your child can be hyperactive and irritability and the next day, he or she can be in complete withdrawal from social interactions. It is cases like these that doctors strongly urge parents and guardians to take note and immediately report to the family doctor the symptoms that are observed.

It is also possible to be on the lookout for more specific symptoms as opposed to looking at generic behaviors. For example, bed-wetting well into their pre-pubescent years can be a cause for concern. The same goes for rapid speech, too much daydreaming, poor short-term memory, manipulative behaviors like bossiness or pathogenic lying, or even suicidal tendencies should be taken with due seriousness. Paranoia and hallucinations are also common warning signs for the presence of bipolar symptoms in children.

The good news is that while these are very serious conditions, bipolar symptoms in children – and subsequently, the underlying condition – are treatable and quickly go away if diagnosed early on. The challenge is to be extra vigilant to spot these bipolar disorder signs so you can take your child to the doctor in a moment’s notice and have them go through the right treatment procedure to free them from the pangs of bipolar disorder at a young age.