Bipolar disorder or manic- depressive illness is a major brain illness. Children suffering from this disorder generally experience unusual mood swings. There will be times when bipolar children will feel extremely happy and more active than normal. This state is called the state of mania. There are also times when bipolar children feel sad and show no interest in anything. This state is called the state of depression. This illness can seriously damage the performance of children in school and create rifts with their friends.
This illness can not be ignored as it can be dangerous and cause bipolar children to attempt suicide or enter the harmful world of drugs. With the right treatment, bipolar children can easily lead normal lives. When children develop this disorder, it is generally referred to as early onset bipolar disorder. This is found to be more severe than the bipolar disorder in older people.
Bipolar children might also exhibit symptoms more often and might have mood swings more frequently than adults with the same disorder. The exact causes of bipolar disorder are not yet known but scientists believe that the main causes are the genes, abnormal brain function and anxiety disorders. So if anyone in your family has bipolar disorder and you find some things abnormal in your child, you should definitely visit a psychiatrist.
Some bipolar children have also shown symptoms of anxiety disorder earlier. Bipolar children may exhibit manic episodes, mixed episodes or depression episodes. Each of these states has a set of symptoms. These mood episodes might last for a week or even more. Bipolar children who are experiencing the mania state generally exhibit the symptoms like feeling extremely happy or acting silly in an unusual way. These children may also have a very short temper and might show high irritability. They tend to talk very fast about a lot of things. Their concentration is impaired and they find it hard to do one thing at a time. Sleeping and eating habits get altered and weight changes are also noticed. When bipolar children are in the depression stage, they generally look sad and disinterested in doing things that used to give them a lot of pleasure.
Bipolar children need extreme care and support as this is a very dangerous condition. Those who do not get the right treatment, family support and therapy might run the risk of substance abuse. It has been seen that drinking and dependence on drugs may be one of the ways that children might choose to deal with their moods. Family support is crucial and bipolar children should be well cared for. The family should be patient and encourage the child to talk if the child is suffering from depression. Family members should also try to tell the bipolar child that the right treatment can help him get better. Parents should also make sure that bipolar children are never left alone because they can easily feel lonely and depressed.