A bipolar disorder affects the ability of a person to feel various moods in a normal range. Manic depression is another term for bipolar disorder. Bipolar is used to describe two extremes or poles. People affected by this serious medical condition have mood alterations ranging from an extremely low (depression) to an extremely high (mania). The said illness can now be diagnosed and treated in young children, but despite of the many studies conducted, some professionals still say that the cause or causes of bipolar disorder are elusive and a truly effective cure is yet to be discovered. However, the said disorder can be managed through numerous medications and other therapies. |
The depression in teens and children is typically relapsing and chronic. Several studies reveal that 3.4 million significant proportions of children and young adults with depression is actually experiencing the early symptoms of a bipolar disorder however the manic phase is never yet experienced.
Marked changes of a bipolar disorder in terms of energy and moods are apparent in children. Persistent condition of extreme agitation or elation accompanied by high levels of energy is called mania while persistent condition of extreme irritability or sadness accompanied by low levels of energy is called depression.
This illness afflicting children may appear to be very different compared to adults. Generally, children have continuous, ongoing mood disturbances with combined symptoms of depression and mania. This severe and rapid cycling among moods can produce chronic irritability. Sometimes, state of wellness is manifested between episodes.
Parents revealed that their children that have bipolar disorder display symptoms such as irritable or expansive mood, lack of enthusiasm in play, extreme sadness, rapid mood swings that can last for several hours and even in days, rages that is lengthy, explosive, and destructive, separation anxiety, defies authority, hyperactivity, distractibility, agitation, night terrors, bed wetting, sleeping too little or too much, frequent and strong cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, excessively involve with multiple activities and projects, impaired judgment, racing thoughts, impulsivity, pressure on talking too much, display behaviors of a dare-devil, precocious or inappropriate sexual behavior, hallucinations and delusions, and grandiose belief or too much self confidence defying laws or logic.
Bipolar disorder symptoms may emerge earlier. The manifestations can even be diagnosed in infants. More often, mothers have reported that their children who are diagnosed later with a bipolar disorder have difficulty in sleeping and settle erratically. These children extraordinarily seemed clingy, and often had seizure-like, uncontrollable rages or tantrums that are sometimes not appropriate for a certain event. These rages are often triggered with the "no" word.
There are other factors that may triggers symptoms in teens. A traumatic event or loss can trigger the first episodes of mania or depression. Later episodes sometimes independently occur when stressed out. Puberty is another risk factor triggering the illness especially during menstrual cycle in girls. Once the disorder begins, the recurrence of episodes is possible in most untreated cases. Some studies show that a lag of ten years after the first episodes is possible. It is advisable that parents let their teens undergo an evaluation if more than four symptoms persist.
A bipolar disorder is usually characterized by the alternating pattern of emotional highs and lows and from which the intensities may vary. The so-called manic symptom includes increased talking either too much or too fast, tends to change topics too quickly or cannot be interrupted while talking. Increased sexual thoughts, feelings, or behavior; use of explicit sexual language or Hypersexuality may also occur. The child may also have the ability to go with very little sleep or no sleep for days. Some patient show overly-inflated self-esteem; or the display of grandiosity while some tend to be somewhat like distracted, the attention moves constantly from one thing to the other. Others experience increased goal-directed activity or physical agitation.
Other symptoms that characterize the said disorder are the depressive ones that include sudden lack of interest in the activities once enjoyed, trouble with sleeping or getting too much sleep, feelings of unimportance or unsuitable guilt, significant change of mood and or frequent thoughts of death or even suicidal tendencies. Should the disorder remain untreated some complications may rise such as Anxiety Disorder or even Psychosis, where in the personality of a person may be disorganized and has difficulty getting in touch with reality. It may also result to destructive effects on relationships as it may be with financial problems resulting from overspending in the event of a manic episode up to nearly complete seclusion and abandonment in the depressive stage.
In addition, teens with bipolar disorder that is left untreated can lead to drugs and alcohol abuse. Some adolescents who display a normal behavior until puberty but experiences sudden onsets are more vulnerable to alcohol or drug addiction. Any child or teen that abuses such substances must be properly assessed. There are instances that the illness is highly genetic but environmental factors influences a lot if it will really occur.
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Bipolar disorder in teenagers can be effectively treated. Treatments usually start on the education of the patient and the family about the disease, prevention of the episodes and psychotherapy. Medications on the other hand help prevent episodes. Medications such as mood stabilizers like lithium and valporic acid often lessens the severity of manic episodes and may help prevent depression. Meanwhile, psychotherapy aids the patients in understanding what he or she is going through, understand himself or herself, cope up with the stresses, improve relationships and rebuild self-esteem.
Some diagnoses that mask or sometimes occur along with bipolar disorder include depression, conduct disorder (C.D.), oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD),ADHD, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and so much more. There is a great possibility that bipolar disorder may be misdiagnosed with these other disorders. Even if a child's behavior is unquestionably not normal, correct diagnosis remains challenging. The proper treatment for the Bipolar Disorder clears up the bothersome symptoms thought to indicate another diagnosis.
The analysis of Bipolar Disorder in children and teens is intricate and involves careful judgment and or observation. A careful assessment by a child and adolescent psychiatrist makes out Bipolar Disorder and the start of the treatment.
A bipolar disorder is not more of a problem today. There are lots of treatments available. It is very important to talk to a healthcare provider to create a plan that will work best in stabilizing mood swings.
Copyright © Anne-Marie Ronsen
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