It is important to know bipolar symptoms in children so that the disorder can be addressed early on. Parents might go crazy over the many changes and behavioral issues they see in their kids. But it’s really hard to tell if these signs are bipolar symptoms in children or just normal part of development. With bipolar disorder, both mania and depression are seen several times in a day which leaves the child upset or chronically irritable the whole day. According to some studies, the onset of bipolar symptoms in children is seen as early as the age of 10.
Symptoms of Depression in Children:
• Boredom – For young children with bipolar disorder they often feel bored. And boredom for these kids is quite scary and very uncomfortable so they tend to bother some adults around them to keep them occupied. In the part of the adult, this can be pretty exhausting.
• Sleeping problems – When you see changes in your child’s sleeping habits, such as when your child is getting too much or lesser sleep lately; wet his/her their bed more often; and experiences extreme nightmares from which he/she wakes up screaming and breathing fast and has no idea what just happened, then it is time to be concerned.
• Eating problems – The depressed child either does not have the appetite for food, or he/she is having too much food cravings.
• Irritability – Because they are depressed, these children get easily upset or irritated which oftentimes gets them into trouble with other kids and adults. They also often make negative statements about themselves stating nobody loves them or that they hate themselves.
• Sadness – At this age, kids have trouble expressing themselves, so they often cry and withdraw themselves from their peers. In the case of toddlers, it’s really hard to tell since it is pretty normal for kids this age to cry so much.
• Morbid thoughts – What’s really scary about this condition is that at a very young age, a child suffering from depression can already entertain morbid thoughts like suicide. It is therefore crucial to constantly monitor children showing signs of depression since they still do not know how to deal with these kinds of thoughts.
Mania Symptoms in Children
• Silliness – Children showing signs of mania become jolly, act goofy and can sometimes be out of control. They often laugh for no apparent reason at all. Their silliness is way different from normal kids’.
• Grandiosity – The child may believe that he/she can do everything just like a superhero. He/she also often talks too much and very quickly, sometimes making no sense at all since he/she is prone to jumping from one topic to another.
• Hyper-sexuality – Though not victims of physical child abuse, they often don’t act they’re age. They become more interested in sexuality, act more flirtatious, and use explicit sexual words.
• Less sleep – These kids don’t get tired and are still very active at night. Parents may wake up and find their child still playing or doing some crazy stuff to get busy.
Bipolar disorder can be misdiagnosed with other conditions such as ADHD, anxiety disorder, autism, and oppositional defiant disorder. Based on the aforementioned bipolar symptoms in children, kids can act really happy and having fun one minute, and crying and very sad the next. For parents, this can be pretty alarming. So if you see some behavioral problems with your kid that you believe is no longer typical, consult with a doctor. It is better to have the condition confirmed early on so that you will know how to properly deal with it and raise your child the best way possible.