Bipolar disorder is more common amongst teenagers and young adults. However, it can affect children as young as 6 years. Children with this disorder go through unusual mood changes. Sometimes they feel very happy or “up,” and are much more energetic and active than usual. This is called a manic episode. Sometimes children with bipolar disorder feel very sad and “down,” and are much less active than usual. This is called depression or a depressive episode.
HOW IS BIPOLAR DISORDER IN CHILDREN DIAGNOSED?
As the existing diagnostic manual doesn’t recognize Pediatric bipolar disorder, the validity of diagnosis is still debatable. General physician may conduct physical exam to rule out other conditions. Mental health evaluation is also performed and in a severe case, the affected child may be referred to a trained mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist.
HOW IS BIPOLAR DISORDER IN CHILDREN TREATED?
Cognitive behavioural therapy is usually recommended for children suffering from Bipolar Disorder as this helps in monitoring the triggers that can lead to sudden mood swings. Disruptive mood therapy and mild medication can also be prescribed so as to limit the severity of mood swings and their effect on the hormones of the child.
DID YOU KNOW?
Caring and managing a bipolar child can be extremely stressful for parents.