Definition of Bipolar Disorder
Children with Bipolar Disorder have unusual mood swings. They may be very happy and active, considered as mania or feel very sad and less active, considered as depression However, it differs from normal ups and downs in the sense that it is more severe. Bipolar affect children in their late teens.
Bipolar mood changes are called "mood episodes." Your child may have manic, depressive, or "mixed" episodes. Children and teens with bipolar disorder may have more mixed episodes than adults with the illness. These episodes may last a week or 2 weeks and for most of the day.
Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Children and teens having a manic episode may:
Be in an overly silly or joyful mood. It is different from the times when a child may usually get silly and have fun
Have an extremely short temper
Sleep little but not feel tired
Talk a lot and have racing thoughts
Have trouble concentrating and focusing on one thing
Talk and think about sex more often
Behave in a risky way
Children and teens having a depressive episode may:
Be in a sad mood that lasts a long time
Lose interest in activities they once enjoyed
Feel worthless or guilty
Complain about pain more often, such as headaches, stomach aches and muscle pains
Eat a lot more or less and gain or lose a lot of weight
Sleep or oversleep when these were not previous problems
Experience loss of energy
Have recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder is not curable but is treatable with medication, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics or clonidine and talking therapy.
An initial 1.5 hour assessment will be required.
During this time your doctor will cover the points below:
Pharmacological treatment may be required ONLY if in agreement.
30 minute follow ups will be dependent on treatment and as and when necessary depending on severity.
If Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or family therapy is necessary a referral will be made.