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What are the Signs of Bipolar in Children?

By Nat Robinson
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Children who are bipolar suffer from a manic-depressive disorder. It is believed that this mental disorder may be caused by genes, a disproportion of some types of brain chemicals, stress and different anxiety disorders. The signs of bipolar in children may include rapid mood swings, racing ideas and speech in addition to being overly energetic. Some children may express aggressive behaviors and a sense of superiority as well. Extreme sadness, low energy and overall disinterest can also be signs of a bipolar child.

Rapid mood swings are customary signs of bipolar in children. Often, children who are bipolar will quickly switch from being very giddy, overzealous and filled with excitement to feelings of hopelessness and depression. Some children will also quickly change their ideas and ways of talking. For example, a bipolar child may rapidly switch from one idea to another. He or she may also talk about several different unrelated things at one time, often making it difficult to comprehend what he or she is thinking about or saying.

A child with bipolar may also be overly energetic. He or she may stay up for hours on end without any indication of tiredness or sleepiness. Instead of sleeping, the child may find a multitude of ways to stay active. He or she may play games, take things apart and put them back together and remain continuously wired for an extended period of time. This sign of bipolar in children may be one of the first clues that something is wrong with the youngster.

Aggressive behavior and a sense of superiority can also be signs of bipolar in children. The child may act angry and aggressive toward people and things. He or she may throw frequent temper tantrums with or without cause, take part in risky behavior such as drinking alcohol, and act impulsively. Some children may act superior to others. They may feel as if they hold all of the power and rules do not apply to them, and some may feel as if they possess supernatural powers as a superhero would.

Low energy is another sign of bipolar in children. A child who unexpectedly starts to sleep a lot more than usual and begins to have problems concentrating for more than a couple of minutes may also be exhibiting signs. Commonly, children in this state of bipolar may also take a disinterest in things he or she once took a lot of pleasure in. This can include losing interest in favorite toys, pastimes and even favorite people. Sometimes, he or she will also complain of different types of physical pain, although a confirmation has been made that there is nothing physically wrong with the child.

Medications are generally used as the preeminent treatment for bipolar disorder. Children coping with bipolar who feel as if they may harm themselves or someone else may be hospitalized for safety. Ongoing treatment is absolutely necessary for the best bipolar support. Often, physicians will include numerous types of pyschotherapy to be incorporated into bipolar treatment as well.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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