Is your child suddenly bursting with energy and active than other kids their age? Does your child suddenly feel depressed and have no interest in anything at all? If you find yourself saying yes to the above questions, then it is known as Bipolar Disorder in Children. Bipolar Disorder, a serious mental illness. You need to make a visit to a psychiatric health professional because prevention is better than cure.
Bipolar Disorder in Children – Causes and Effects
Bipolar Disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and ability to carry out day to day tasks. It is also known as Manic-depressive illness or Manic depression.
Anyone can develop Bipolar Disorder, including children and teens. However, the onset of Bipolar Disorder is in their late teen or early adult years. But it can occur in children of any age. A total of 8.7 million people is affected in India, out of which 0.2% – 0.4% are children. The illness usually lasts a lifetime.
There are no scientifically proven causes of bipolar disorder, but several factors may contribute to the illness. Family genes may be one factor because Bipolar Disorder sometimes runs in families.
Another factor that may lead to Bipolar Disorder is related to the brain structure or the brain function of the person with the disorder. Research says Bipolar disorder is usually triggered by a traumatic event when it happens once it can easily happen again without any triggers. Bipolar usually occurs due to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and it’s often triggered by a traumatic event.
Bipolar Disorder is not the normal change of mood every kid goes through. The symptoms of bipolar disorder are more powerful than normal. These symptoms are so strong that it affects the child’s overall well-being and hinders functioning in school and makes it very difficult to get along with friends and family. Some children even try to hurt themselves or attempt suicide. The episodes may occur anytime even while doing a simple art activity.
Bipolar Symptoms in Children
The child with bipolar disorder may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or ‘mixed’ episodes. A mixed episode has both manic and depressive symptoms. These mood episodes lead to symptoms that can last up to a week or two or sometimes longer. During an episode, the symptoms can last every day for most of the day.
Mania in children- Children and teens having a manic episode may experience:
- Feel very happy or act silly in a way that’s unusual for them and for other people their age
- Very short tempered
- Talk really fast about a lot of different things
- Has trouble sleeping but not feel tired
- Has trouble staying focused, lack of concentration
- Talk and think about sexual activities more often
- Do risky things
Children and teens having a depressive episode may experience:
- Feel very sad
- Complain about pain a lot, such as stomachaches and headaches
- Sleep too little or too much
- Feel guilty and worthless
- Eating too little or too much
- Have little energy and no interest in fun activities
- Talk and Think about death or suicide
Effective treatment for bipolar disorder in children
As a parent, you need to be more understanding and supportive by listening, giving them encouragement during their depression and divert them in their mania and consult a psychologist for evaluation and psychiatrist for medications. Consider family therapy from your psychologist and take suicide threats seriously.
Bipolar disorder in children takes you for a ride. It can be stressful for you. You have to cope up with your child’s mood swings and behaviors like indulging in risky activities, involving in fights, lowering of grades taking care of his or her academics, homework.
Sometimes, the symptoms of stress can strain your relationship with your friends, spouse or relatives and might not have any ‘me’ time. Talk to a psychologist about your feeling and will help you deal with all the problems you are facing. Your child will definitely improve by regularly taking prescribed medications, frequent counseling and therapy from a psychologist, maintaining enough sleep and cutting out alcohol, caffeine and those having bipolar can easily manage their symptoms and continuing on living their lives.
Visit Cadabam’s Hospitals or call us @+91 9611194949 to book an appointment for your child with our Medical Professional or psychiatrists to treat bipolar disorder in children and your problems will be dealt with care.