Bipolar disorder is a serious condition that requires careful care, which is why you should learn the signs of bipolar disorder and keep a close watch on your children. This mental disorder causes unexpected mood changes that could range between hyperactivity to sudden and devastating depression. To grasp a better understanding of this condition and determine if your child may possess it, you should review these eleven signs of bipolar disorder, which all parents should know.
Hypomania is described as an exacerbated state of euphoria and is among the first signs of bipolar disorder. During this phase of bipolar disorder, your child will express overwhelmingly happy feelings. While hypomania in children is not as well-pronounced as it is in adults, some patients exhibit the feeling of being invincible during this phase.
2. Inability to Complete Tasks
The disorder may affect the way in which your child completes tasks. In some cases this could indicate that they are distracted by outside stimuli or a feeling of worthlessness. The way in which they accomplish goals is consistently affected by their mood. When it comes to tasks that produce a stressful state, they may avoid the steps needed to finish what they started.
Depression is well-pronounced in all patients with bipolar disorder. It is more severe for children with bipolar disorder. In most cases, they don't know what has produced these feelings. A mood stabilizer can help alleviate these symptoms and make it easier for them to cope with the original source of depression. Counseling is also conducive to controlling and stabilizing their moods.
Remember when assessing this sign that children often become irritable at times, which is completely normal. What differentiates this sign between the norm here is the frequency at which they become irritable and the extremity of their behavior when they exhibit this sign of bipolar disorder.
5. Rapid Speech
Rapid speech is another factor that you need to distinguish from the norm. If your child begins to speak so rapidly that he or she slurs their words at times and cannot contain themselves, then bipolar disorder is probable. Children with the disorder also face difficulties with concentration. When they speak rapidly, it is usually combined with frequent interruptions of conversations.
6. Difficulties at School
Anger is a frequent sign of bipolar disorder that affects how your child behaves in school. Through therapy, they will learn how to control their anger and rage. Lack of control could lead to altercations at school, which could have devastating results. This is not to say that all children who are bipolar will suffer from a lack of control. However, it is best to address hostilities in a controlled environment before they become overwhelming and lead to blackouts, which are also a symptom of the disorder.
7. Alcohol or Drug Use
Children, especially teens who are suffering and struggling with the symptoms of this disorder, turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. Typically, depression is the motivating factor. However, a skewed view of one's self and their place in social settings could also lead to substance abuse. You should educate yourself about the signs of substance abuse to allow you to identify the symptoms to prevent further risks to your child's well-being.
8. Erratic Behavior
Uncontrollable behavior is exhibited during rage. Again, anger and frustration lead to erratic behaviors. These behaviors are unpredictable and could lead to serious outcomes. In some cases, the children become violent towards parents and siblings. In others, they may begin to harm themselves. Any signs of cutting should be addressed immediately as this is a possible sign of self-loathing. This in turn could lead to suicide attempts.
9. Sleep Disturbances
Children with bipolar disorder have difficulties sleeping due to an inability to relax and stop their thought process. In some cases, it is a combination of ADHD with bipolar disorder, which causes a significant increase in energy levels. This leads to insomnia and the need for medication to allow them to sleep more soundly.
10. Racing Thoughts
Racing thoughts are most common when the child is attempting to sleep. However, they can occur at any time. This leads to the inability to concentrate and stay on task. This is another symptom that makes it difficult for them to complete tasks. A way to confirm that your child is experiencing racing thoughts is to pay attention to their manner of speaking. If they suddenly lose their train of thought, it is most likely attributed to rapid thoughts that are racing through their mind, which they cannot contain.
Hypermania is exhibited through an inability to sit still. If you notice your child pacing at random, this disorder is a possibility. They will pace within a confined area and in some cases they will begin to stomp their feet harder in coordinated steps.
Bipolar disorder is controlled through medication and holistic approaches. Therapy as a family can help you to present your child with more advantageous coping skills. What are some techniques you have used to control the symptoms of bipolar disorder?