Children and bipolar disorder, these are the symptoms and causes


Healthzia – Not only adults, children can also experience psychological problems. One of them is bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder in children often has no known symptoms. In fact, if it is not immediately known and handled, this condition can have a negative impact on children’s growth and development and achievement.

Bipolar in children can be seen from the very rapid mood changes of the child. For example, a child may look very sad, even though he had been very happy a few moments before. That’s an example of bipolar that is experienced by children.

Patterns and behavior in children tend to be unstable. There are times when children become unruly, irritable and angry, or may rebel. In some cases, this is classified as normal and not a mental disorder.

However, in a child with bipolar disorder, emotional and behavioral changes occur very easily, quickly, and are difficult for him to control.

If not treated immediately, the condition can cause problems, for example the child does not want to go to school, the child’s relationship with family or friends is not harmonious, is more likely to injure himself, and even makes the child more at risk for suicidal thoughts or drug and alcohol addiction.

Symptoms and Signs of Bipolar in Children

Bipolar symptoms in children are more difficult to recognize and are often difficult to distinguish from normal behavior in children. Many of the symptoms can also be similar to those of other mental disorders, such as ADHD.

However, parents should take a closer look at whether their child begins to exhibit behaviors that lead to bipolar disorder.

One of the hallmarks of bipolar disorder in children is the presence of several mood episodes called episodes. This bipolar episode is divided into three phases, namely mania episodes (rising), depressive episodes (falling), and combined episodes of both.

Mania episodes are characterized by a rapidly rising mood. In this phase, the child with bipolar disorder can feel excessive enthusiasm. Meanwhile, in a depressive episode, children will lose their enthusiasm to despair due to a decreased mood.

Two things that are very opposites come and go in an uncertain period, it can be in a matter of hours, days, weeks, or even longer. Sometimes, there is a normal period between these two episodes.

The following are some of the symptoms that may appear based on the episode:

A. Mania episodes

Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Looks very happy and has behaviors that are not appropriate for him or his age, then suddenly becomes angry and becomes very aggressive.
  • Speaking in a tone that is too fast and can be unclear, and it is very easy to change the subject.
  • Very energized and rarely rested. In the mania phase, your child may spend a lot of time watching TV, playing games, and not wanting to sleep.
  • Having unrealistic thoughts and having the belief that he has super strength or certain prowess, for example that he can fly.
  • Behaving excessively reckless behavior or doing dangerous things, such as jumping out of a running car or jumping off the roof of a house.
  • It’s hard to focus and concentrate

B. Depressive episodes

Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Feeling sad and hopeless for no apparent reason
  • Irritability, anxiety, and excessive worry
  • Tired easily and often complains of pain in certain body parts, such as stomach aches or headaches
  • Too much sleep or even rarely sleep
  • Often eat or don’t want to eat
  • Lazy to do activities or not enthusiastic about things he usually likes
  • More silent, often locked himself in the room, and did not want to go out
  • Pessimistic, hopeless, and feel useless
  • Dare to injure yourself or express suicidal thoughts

Children who have bipolar disorder can also have problems with their behavior. However, the symptoms above cannot be used as the main guide for diagnosing a child with bipolar disorder. This is because not all mood and behavior disorders indicate that a child has bipolar disorder. It could be that these symptoms arise due to other problems, such as depression in children.

To be clearer whether the above symptoms are caused by bipolar disorder, psychological observation or examination of the child by a psychologist or psychiatrist is necessary.

Causes of Bipolar Disorders in Children

Until now, it is not certain what causes bipolar disorder in children and adults. However, there are several things that are thought to increase a child’s risk of developing bipolar disorder, namely:

1. Heredity

A person has the potential to suffer from bipolar disorder if one of the family members such as mother, father, or brother also experiences the same thing. This suggests that bipolar disorder may be hereditary. However, this still needs to be investigated further.

2. Abnormalities in brain structure and function

In the brain there are chemical compounds that act as conductors for the stimulation of nerve cells throughout the body. These compounds are also called neurotransmitters. If there are insufficient numbers of neurotransmitters, the systems that control brain activity, including those that regulate emotions and behavior, cannot function properly.

3. Psychological trauma

Apart from the above biological factors, bipolar disorder in children is also thought to be caused by stress or severe stress that causes the child to experience psychological trauma.
Apart from the above biological factors, bipolar disorder in children is also thought to be caused by stress or severe stress that causes the child to experience psychological trauma.

Then, Can Bipolar in Children Be Cured?

Until now, there is no treatment step that can cure bipolar disorder. However, the symptoms of this disorder can be relieved with drugs, such as mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, as well as with psychotherapy by a psychiatrist.

In addition, handling bipolar in children also aims to:

  • Ensuring children can return to school well
  • Prevent children from falling into promiscuity or using drugs
  • Prevent children from injuring themselves or attempting to commit suicide
  • Provide emotional support to children and guide parents to provide appropriate parenting

If your child shows signs of bipolar disorder, don’t hesitate to take him to a psychiatrist for further tests. If it turns out that the child has bipolar disorder, the doctor can provide treatment so that the child’s condition improves immediately.

Always provide support to children so that they feel someone is paying attention and fostering positive morals for the children.

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