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Could Your Child Have Bipolar Disorder? Here Are 6 Red Flags.

by on 14/01/2021 4054

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a mental illness involving extreme mood swings.

Children (though not as commonly as adults) can be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Sometimes it is hard to tell this disorder apart from other conditions, such as ADHD or an anxiety disorder, as their symptoms can overlap. If you suspect that your child may have a mental illness, be sure to get a formal assessment from a mental health professional.

Let’s now look at some signs that a child could have bipolar disorder.

1. Exaggerated sense of well-being

Individuals with bipolar disorder experience something called manic episodes. During the episodes, your child could have unusually high self-esteem and confidence. She could also feel intense joy, one that seems unreasonable under normal circumstances.

Could Your Child Have Bipolar Disorder? Here Are 6 Red Flags.

2. Periods of severe hopelessness

Other than manic episodes, your child may also experience depressive episodes. Deep sadness, irritability and tiredness are features of this phase. This period can last for days or weeks, and can affect how much (or how little) your child wants to eat.

3. Overly high and extremely low

Having bipolar disorder means one can go from periods of immense happiness, to phases of severe dejection. In between, there could be ‘normal’ periods. It is also possible for your child to have a mixed mood episode, where a child is exhibiting features of both manic and depressive states.

Could Your Child Have Bipolar Disorder? Here Are 6 Red Flags.

4. Difficulty controlling anger

If your child has periods of angry outbursts that last a few days, it may be a warning sign. It’s important to differentiate between normal anger, that can come once in a while, from sustained irritability or rage.

5. Heightened energy

During mania, kids may exhibit abnormally high energy, where they talk rapidly and change subjects quickly. Children in the midst of this phase may also have problems with sleeping or show very little need for it.

6. Challenges with focus at school

Bipolar disorder can hamper one’s ability to focus. Kids who have this condition could be having issues with studying or paying attention at school.

Could Your Child Have Bipolar Disorder? Here Are 6 Red Flags.

This lack of focus can be highly frustrating for your child, as he or she may want to concentrate but finds it too difficult to do so.

If you notice these symptoms in your child, be sure to seek help from a qualified expert. There is no cure for bipolar disorder, but there are treatments to help keep the damaging symptoms under control.

Can kids actually have depression? Read more here.