Bipolar disorder in children, these symptoms and their causes

Bipolar disorder in children, these symptoms and their causes
As with adults, children can also experience psychiatric problems. One of them is bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder in children is often not recognized by its symptoms. In fact, if it is not immediately detected and handled, this condition can have a bad impact on the growth and performance of children.

Image Bipolar disorder in children, these symptoms and their causes

Bipolar disorder that occurs in children can be seen from the presence of very extreme and rapid mood swings (mood swing). For example, a child with bipolar disorder can suddenly become very moody, but a few moments before seemed very excited.

The pattern of behavior and emotion that children have is likely to be unstable. There is a phase where the child is so difficult to set, irritable and angry, or even rebellious. In many cases, this is classified as normal and not a sign of psychiatric disorder.

But in children with bipolar sufferers, emotional and behavioral changes occur very easily, quickly, and difficult to control.

If left untreated, the condition can cause problems, such as the child so does not want to school, the relationship of children with his family or friends is not harmonious, self-injuring tendencies, even making the child more risky to have a suicide desire or drug and alcohol addiction.

Bipolar signs and symptoms in children

Bipolar symptoms in children tend to be difficult to identify and often difficult to distinguish from normal behavior in children. Some of its symptoms can also be similar to other mental disorders, such as ADHD.

Nevertheless, parents need to observe further if the child begins to demonstrate behavior leading to bipolar disorder.

One characteristic of bipolar disorder in children is the presence of several mood phases called episodes. This bipolar episode is divided into three phases, which are episodes of Mania (ascending), depressive episodes (descending), and episodes of both combinations.

Episode mania is characterized by an increased mood. In this phase, children with bipolar can feel an excessive spirit. While in a depressive episode, the child will lose excitement to despair due to the declining mood.

The two things that are very opposite come to change in an unexpected period of time, can be in hours, days, weeks, or longer. Sometimes, there is a normal period between these two episodes.

Based on the episodes, here are some symptoms that may arise:

Episode Mania

Symptoms that arise when children with bipolar sufferers Enter Mania episodes, among others:
  • It looks very joyful and has behavior that does not suit herself or her age, then suddenly becomes furious and very aggressive.
  • Speaking in speech that's too fast and sometimes unclear, it's very easy to change the subject.
  • Very energizing and rarely resting. In the mania phase, the child will probably spend a lot of time watching TV, playing games, and not going to sleep.
  • Often thinking is unrealistic and has a belief that he has a certain superpower or greatness, for example that he can fly.

Impulsivity (reckless behaviour) is excessive or does dangerous things, such as jumping out of a running car or jumping off the roof of a house.
Difficult to focus and concentrate.

Depressive episodes

While in the episode of depression, symptoms that will be seen in children with bipolar disorder are:
  • Feeling sad and discouraged with no obvious cause.
  • Irritability, anxiety, and excessive worry.
  • Easily tired and often complain of pain in certain parts of the body, such as abdominal pain or headaches.
  • Too much sleep or just rarely sleep.
  • Often eating or even unwilling to eat.
  • Lazy activities or less enthusiastic about the things he usually loves to do.
  • More quiet, often confined to the room, and not going to hang out.
  • Pessimistic, hopeless, and feeling himself useless.
  • Reckless hurt oneself or proclaim to commit suicide.

The above symptoms cannot be used as the main benchmark for diagnosing a bipolar child. This is because not all mood disorders and behaviours indicate that children experience bipolar disorder. It could be that the symptoms arise from other problems, such as depression in children.

To ensure whether the above symptoms are caused by bipolar disorder, a child's need for observation or psychology screening is required by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Causes of Bipolar disorder in children

Until now, it has not been known exactly what causes bipolar disorder in children and adults. However, there are some things allegedly can increase the risk of a child to experience bipolar disorder, namely:

Hereditary factors

A person has a potential to suffer from bipolar if one of the family members, such as a mother, father, or sister, is also experiencing the same condition. This indicates that bipolar disorder may be hereditary. However, it still needs to be researched further.

Abnormalities of structures and brain functions

In the brain, there is a chemical compound that acts as a conductetic stimulation to nerve cells throughout the body. This compound is called also with neurotransmitters. If the number of neurotransmitters is lacking, then the brain activity controller system, including those governing emotions and behaviors, cannot function properly.

Psychological Trauma

In addition to the above biological factors, bipolar disorder in children is also suspected to be caused by severe pressure or stress resulting in psychological trauma.

These Trauma can occur due to many things, such as divorce or parental death, false parenting, domestic violence, or bullying.

Is Bipolar in children curable?

To date, there have been no treatment steps that can cure bipolar disorder. However, the symptoms of this disorder can be alleviated with medications, such as mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, as well as with psychotherapy by psychiatrists.

In addition to relieving symptoms, bipolar treatment in children also aims to:
  • Ensure that children can return to school well.
  • Preventing a child from falling to a free association or using drugs.
  • Avoiding the child of self-harm or suicide attempts.
  • Provide emotional support to the child and guide parents to provide the appropriate foster pattern.

If the child shows suspected signs of bipolar disorder, please do not hesitate to take them to consult a psychiatrist for further examination. If the child is experiencing bipolar disorder, the doctor can give a treatment so that the child condition will improve immediately.

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