Bipolar isn’t just something that happens to adults; it happens to children, too. Unfortunately, like many disorders and conditions once thought to be exclusive to adults paediatric bipolar disorder isn’t acknowledged by a consensus of mental health professionals.
Bipolar in children is more pronounced, typified by abrupt mood swings, jumping between hyperactivity and lethargy, intense temper tantrums, and defiance. Plus, cycling between moods is often more rapid and more severe than in adults, and may result in chronic irritability, with little peace.
Mental health professionals won’t diagnose (if they even diagnose at all) a child with bipolar unless they have at least four of the following.
- Irritable mood
- Extreme sadness
- Lack of interest in play
- Rapidly changing moods lasting at least a few hours
- Explosive, often destructive rages
- Separation anxiety
- Defiance of authority
- Sleeping little or sleeping too much
- Bed wetting
- Night terrors
- Strong and frequent cravings
- Impaired judgment and impulsivity
- Belief in own abilities that defy the laws of logic (ability to fly, for example)
These behaviour alone are normal for children to exhibit,