What Causes Bipolar Disorder
The exact causes of bipolar disorder are unknown, but several factors may contribute to the illness.
For example, researchers are beginning to uncover genetic mechanisms that are linked to bipolar disorder and other mental disorders. Research shows that peoples chance of having bipolar disorder is higher if they have a close family member with the illness, which may be because they have the same genetic variations. However, just because one family member has bipolar disorder, it does not mean that other members of the family will have it. Many genes are involved in the disorder, and no single gene causes it.
Research also suggests that adversity, trauma, and stressful life events may increase the chances of developing bipolar disorder in people with a genetic risk of having the illness.
Some research studies have found differences in brain structure and function between people who have bipolar disorder and those who do not. Researchers are studying the disorder to learn more about its causes and effective treatments.
Is My Child Bipolar Quiz: Bipolar Child Questionnaire
If you suspect your child may have bipolar disorder, youll want a quiz to determine, Is my child bipolar? Determining whether you child has bipolar disorder or another mental illness always needs to be done by a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, but a childhood bipolar questionnaire can point you in the direction of seeking a formal diagnosis or not.
Addressing The Stigma Of Bipolar Depression
People with bipolar disorder and the depression associated with it are often misunderstood by others. Stigma often comes from lack of understanding or fear. Inaccurate information or representations can contribute to both of those factors. It could be due to the way bipolar depression is viewed in society, including by friends and family. It could also be due to a lack of general awareness.
However, the fact is many people with bipolar depression have successful careers and satisfying relationships. These are just a few reasons why you should not worry about how others may view your condition.
If others express belief in the stereotype or just dont understand, it may be an opportunity to start a conversation with them about your experience with bipolar depression. However, this may be a challenging talk. Be patient with them. Here are some tips on how to start the conversation.
- Try to talk when youre well so you can plan for the talk and ensure it is a calm and productive one
- Explain your experiences and feelings so they can better understand what youre going through
- Let them know why being stigmatized is harmful and ask for their support
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Healthy Living May Help Your Mood
We all know that being active and eating healthy play an important role in our physical health. However, there may be times when you just dont feel up to physical activity and making healthy choices at mealtime.
However, its important to try and be active and eat healthy as both could be beneficial.
Treating Bipolar Disorder In Kids And Teens
New research is helping practitioners better understand the symptoms of pediatric bipolar disorder
Vol. 51, No. 7
Monitor on Psychology51
Learning objectives: After reading this article, CE candidates will be able to:
For more information on earning CE credit for this article, go CE Corner.
Of the nearly 11,000 articles on bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, more than 90% have been published in the last 15 yearsafter most practitioners were trained and licensed. Keeping up with that explosion of literature can be a challenge, says Eric Youngstrom, PhD, a professor of psychology, neuroscience and psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill .
Its great to have the research, says Youngstrom, who also directs the Center for Excellence in Research and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder at UNC Chapel Hill. But the speed of its arrival creates a challenge. How do we find and digest it? How do we learn about new tools and skills and use them?
Over the past decade or so, experts across psychology and psychiatry have helped refine assessment and treatment of bipolar disorder among children and adolescents.
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Its Important To Keep Talking
Initially, your loved one may not understand completely. Thats OK. Give them time.
Explain to them that youre working to manage your condition and get the help you need. And that their encouragement and support is needed as well. Let them know the conversations you share help build a strong foundation from which you can hopefully move forward.
Where Do I Go For Help
If youre not sure where to get help, your doctor, pediatrician, or other family health care provider is a good place to start. A health care provider can refer you to a qualified mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, who has experience treating bipolar disorder and can evaluate your childs symptoms.
You can learn more about getting help and finding a health care provider on the National Institute of Mental Health website. Hospital health care providers can help in an emergency. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has an online tool to help you find mental health services in your area.
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What Should I Know About Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.
Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct clinical trials with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you. For more information, visit the NIMH Clinical Trials webpage.
Following Your Treatment Plan
Once youve started a treatment plan, you may start to feel better and think you dont need your medication. However, if youre having doubts about your treatment plan or medication, talk to your doctor.
Remember, bipolar depression is a lifelong condition that requires treatment. If youre feeling better, chances are its because your treatment plan is helping to control your symptoms.
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Scoring The Bipolar Child Questionnaire
The Bipolar Child Questionnaire can be scored in a number of ways only a professional trained in this test can give you a full picture.
That said, the easiest way to score the Bipolar Child Questionnaire is the following:
- Add up all the items on the test rated a 3 or 4.
- The higher the total score, the more likely the presence of bipolar disorder and the greater the severity of the illness.
Note that this test may also be useful in the screening for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children as well.
According to the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation:
The Child Bipolar Questionnaire cannot make a definitive diagnosis, which requires a careful diagnostic evaluation by a physician, nurse practitioner, or other qualified clinicians. Only an experienced diagnostician with a full understanding of the family history, as well as the symptoms and behaviors that the child exhibits, is qualified to make a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The Child Bipolar Questionnaire may serve as an integral part of such an evaluation.
The best thing you can do if you suspect your child has bipolar disorder is to print out the full Child Bipolar Questionnaire and bring it to a qualified professional such as a psychiatrist.
APA ReferenceTracy, N. . Is My Child Bipolar Quiz: Bipolar Child Questionnaire, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, November 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-children/is-my-child-bipolar-quiz-bipolar-child-questionnaire
What Is Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes people to experience noticeable, sometimes extreme, changes in mood and behavior. Sometimes children with bipolar disorder feel very happy or up and are much more energetic and active than usual. This is called a manic episode. Sometimes children with bipolar disorder feel very sad or down and are much less active than usual. This is called a depressive episode.
Bipolar disorder, which used to be called manic-depressive illness or manic depression, is not the same as the normal ups and downs every child goes through. The mood changes in bipolar disorder are more extreme, often unprovoked, and accompanied by changes in sleep, energy level, and the ability to think clearly. Bipolar symptoms can make it hard for young people to perform well in school or to get along with friends and family members. Some children and teens with bipolar disorder may try to hurt themselves or attempt suicide.
Most people are diagnosed with bipolar disorder in adolescence or adulthood, but the symptoms can appear earlier in childhood. Bipolar disorder is often episodic, but it usually lasts a lifetime.
With treatment, children and teens with bipolar disorder can manage their symptoms and lead successful lives.
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Does My Child Have Bipolar Or Adhd How To Tell The Difference
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder can look similar in children and so it can be hard to know if your child has ADHD or bipolar disorder . On top of that, many children actually have both disorders and that can complicate matters further. Additionally, disorders such as disruptive mood dysregulation disorder and conduct disorder can also be hard to differentiate from pediatric bipolar disorder. The following outlines child bipolar vs. ADHD symptoms.
Bipolar Disorder In Young Children
Diagnosing bipolar disorder in young children is difficult, because many of the symptoms are similar to those of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or conduct disorders — or even just normal, childhood behavior. One problem is that medications used for ADHD are often stimulants, which can potentially trigger mania in children with bipolar disorder.
Young children in a manic phase might be more irritable than adults they may be more likely to have psychotic symptoms, hearing and seeing things that aren’t real. During a depressive episode, they might be more likely to complain of physical symptoms, like aches and pains.
One of the most notable differences is that bipolar disorder in children cycles much more quickly. While manic and depressive periods may be separated by weeks, months, or years in adults, they can happen within a single day in children.
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Being An Advocate For Yourself
Over the course of your journey with bipolar depression, you may have experienced setbacks. Those setbacks may have caused frustration. However, now that youre starting treatment, its important to take steps toward better self-care.
After all, setting small, attainable goalsbe it going for a daily walk, taking part in a favorite activity or hobby, or eating healthiercan help you to achieve your larger goals in life. Begin by making a realistic plan to reach your goal.
- State clearly and positively what your goal is
- Envision the benefits and how they could improve your life
- Set up small, attainable steps to reach your larger goal
- Be aware of challenges that may arise, so your momentum isnt defeated
- Avoid negative self-talk that may sabotage you
- Have fun and celebrate small accomplishments along the way
What Are The Signs And Symptoms
A person with bipolar disorder will go through episodes of mania and at other times experience episodes of depression . These aren’t the normal periods of happiness and sadness that everyone experiences from time to time. Instead, the episodes are intense or severe mood swings, like a pendulum that keeps arcing higher and higher.
Symptoms of mania include:
- anger, worry, and anxiety
- thoughts of death or suicide
In adults, episodes of mania or depression usually last for weeks or months, although they can be shorter in length. In children and adolescents, though, these episodes can be much shorter, and a kid or teen can even go back and forth between mania and depression throughout the day.
Episodes of mania or depression may happen irregularly and follow an unpredictable pattern or they may be linked, with a manic episode always following a period of depression, or vice versa. Sometimes episodes have a seasonal pattern. Mania in the spring, for example, may be followed by depression in the winter.
Between episodes, someone with bipolar disorder usually returns to normal functioning. For some people, though, there is little or no “break period” between their cycles. These mood swing cycles can change slowly or rapidly, with rapid cycling between mania and depression being much more common in women, children, and adolescents.
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How Can I Help My Teen Live With Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder has no cure. But over time, your teens symptoms will get better. Being supportive and patient can help. Here are things you can do to help:
Keep all appointments with your teens healthcare provider.
Take part in family therapy as needed.
Talk with your teens healthcare provider about other providers who will be involved in your teens care. Your teen may get care from a team that may include school staff, counselors, therapists, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Your teens care team will depend on his or her needs and how serious the depression is.
Tell others about your teens bipolar disorder. Work with your teens healthcare provider and schools to create a treatment plan.
Reach out for support. Being in touch with other parents who have a teen with bipolar disorder may be helpful. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed out, talk with your teens healthcare provider about a support group for caregivers of people with bipolar disorder.
Take all symptoms of depression, mania, and suicide very seriously. Get treatment right away. Suicide is a health emergency. Talk with your teens healthcare provider for more information. Find out who to contact, and what to do if your teen has suicidal thoughts. Have an emergency plan in place.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder In A Teen
Teens with bipolar disorder often have abnormal mood swings. They shift between depression and mania. These episodes often last 1 or 2 weeks. But symptoms may be different for each teen.
Symptoms of depression may include:
Lasting feelings of sadness
Heightened energy level
Uncharacteristically poor judgment
Seeing or hearing things that are not there , or believing things that are not true
Symptoms of bipolar disorder, especially in a teen, may look like other problems. Make sure your teen sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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Can Bipolar Disorder Go Away
Bipolar disorder tends to be seen as an ongoing condition that waxes and wanes throughout ones life, says Simon A. Rego, PsyD, Chief Psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
Fortunately, the symptoms can often be controlled and stabilized in most cases when proper treatment is in place, Rego says.
Child Bipolar Vs Adhd Characteristic Diagnostic Behaviors
The following table outlines the characteristics that help diagnose bipolar disorder or ADHD in a child and how they present themselves.
|Euphoric in mania/hypomania and suffering and depressed during depression||Often depressed or in neither an inflated mood nor a depressed mood|
|Episodic disturbances such as decreased need in mania/hypomania||Chronic poor sleep often late bedtimes|
|Speech||Pressured and/or rapid in mania/hypomania and slowed during depression||Often rapid may be pressured|
|Psychomotor activity||Agitated in mania/hypomania/mixed states slowed in depressed states||Chronically agitated|
Its also important to know that children who are initially diagnosed with ADHD may eventually be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Children with severe ADHD, unstable emotions and aggression are often the ones who later develop bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder and ADHD also commonly occur together. Some studies have shown that in children with bipolar symptoms, as many as 90% also have ADHD. That percentage drops as age increases.
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We Know You’ve Tried Everything Andare Feeling Beaten Down By Your Childs Unrelenting Emotional And Behavioral Struggles
- Does your child suffer from aggression, terrible mood swings, depression, and anxiety?
- Does your child have horrific nightmares and night terrors? Do they have trouble sleeping and fight going to bed at night?
- Does your child experience larger than life fears that are irrational and completely overwhelming?
- Does your child feel hot all the time, sweat in normal room temperatures, and refuse to wear a jacket when its cold out?
Proactively Manage Your Triggers
Working closely with your doctor and getting support from your loved ones is essential when treating your bipolar depression. Another crucial part of your treatment is understanding and managing your triggers.
Triggers are external environmental factors that could set off an episode of depression. Once you know your triggers, you may be able to better manage them and your reactions.
Some triggers you should pay attention to include:
- Lack of sleepideally you should keep a regular sleep schedule
- Stressstress can include both good and bad life events. These events may include going away to college, getting married, giving birth, losing a loved one, financial strains, job loss, moving or a breakup/divorce
- Seasonal changessome episodes may follow a seasonal pattern
To help maintain and manage your triggers:
- Educate yourselflearn about bipolar depression and its challenges to be a better advocate for yourself
- Live healthyexercise regularly, eat balanced meals, and stick to a sleep schedule
- Stay connectedjoin a support group or talk with a loved one
- Monitor your moodstracking your sleep, activities, and feelings may help you see patterns and changes
Identifying and understanding your triggers is important. Becoming more aware of those factors can help you develop a plan to manage or avoid those triggers.
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