Signs of bipolar teens

Verified by Psychology Today. Owning Bipolar. Does your child display excessive emotional changes?

A teen with bipolar disorder often has extreme mood swings. A teen may have times of great elation, happiness, elevated mood, or irritability. This is called mania.

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Does your child go through intense mood changes? Does your child have extreme behavior changes? Does your child get much more excited and active than other kids his or her age?

The AACAP describes this abnormal state for children or teens as having low energy, fatigue, poor concentration and decreased enjoyment in favorite activities; decreased appetite or major change in eating habits; complaints of physical illnesses, such as stomach aches and headaches and thoughts of death or suicide. All children get angry periodically, but for children and adolescents with bipolar disorder they tend to feel anger on a very intense level. This can manifest into violence, possibly attacking others or destroying their toys. Because children with bipolar anger are usually are not able to control their outbursts, these emotions turn into severe rage that can last for hours.

Bipolar disorder in children is possible. It's most often diagnosed in older children and teenagers, but bipolar disorder can occur in children of any age. As in adults, bipolar disorder in children can cause mood swings from the highs of hyperactivity or euphoria mania to the lows of serious depression.

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Learn the most common symptoms of bipolar disorder in children, as well as warning signs that may present at home and at school. Before the s, it was widely believed that only adults could have bipolar disorder. However, epidemiological studies conducted in and beyond started to indicate that many adults with bipolar disorder — in some cases, up to 20 percent — were already showing symptoms in childhood.

So while the condition is often associated with adults, kids of any age can have bipolar disorder. Early intervention can be the key to getting symptoms under control. Even if you know an adult with bipolar disorder—or you have been diagnosed with it yourself—it might not look the same in a teenager.

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Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes extreme shifts in mood, behavior, attention, and energy level. These shifts can result in a high, referred to as a manic episode, or a low, known as a depressive episode. Symptoms of bipolar disorder typically emerge in early adulthood, around the age of 25, but symptoms can also develop in childhood or the teenage years.

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Bipolar disorders are one of several medical conditions called depressive disorders. Depressive disorders affect the way a person's brain functions. Depressive disorders are widespread.

Your child is going through the usual ups and downs of being a teenager. But then you begin to notice that their behavior is a bit more erratic than usual and seems to swing from extreme irritability to extreme sadness every few days. Read on to learn what symptoms to look for, how bipolar disorder is diagnosed, and how this mental health condition is treated.

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