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What Is Bipolar Disorder in Children & Teens?

Learn about bipolar disorder in children and teens from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.


Bipolar disorder in children and teenagers is very complex to diagnose. What we do know is that it's a neurochemical disorder that creates a combination of different symptoms that range from manic behaviors to depressive behaviors. Other times, it's a very unique combination of manic and depressive symptoms.

When we think about the manic symptoms, sometimes, there is silliness and excessive laughter and giddiness. There's grandiosity. There are times and occasions where a child may have an idea in his or her head, and they absolutely have to conduct this task. They may stay up all night and not sleep.

When we thing about depressive symptoms, we think about the common irritability, grouchiness, difficulty sleeping. Again, these combination of manic and depressive symptoms can cycle highs and lows very rapidly or be very slow to observe.

The diagnosis of bipolar disorder must be conducted by a clinical professional, because, again, it's very complex. While it's a very complicated disorder, these are some of the basic factors in understanding childhood bipolar disorder.

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