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childhood bipolar
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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childhood bipolar

does anyone know the symptoms of childhood bipolar condition? and how do they compare to adult bipolar. i was diagnosed bipolar 6 yrs ago and was never told what symptoms they based this on.
                                       Thanks new friends, Allison
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I don't think they diagnose as bipolar until adolescence is over.  My psychiatrist told me this was her strategy anyway because hormones are so crazy normally in children and especially adolescents. Maybe this was just her though, and other drs do diagnose earlier.
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Hi Allison1963

I have copied and pasted this from another post i wrote but i think it really applies to you too, hope you don't mind.
I am in 2 minds about children being diagnosed with bipolar, as bipolar disorder is a life long illness and that is a lot to put on a child shoulders. and the bipolar medication is not designed or tested on children, and many say it is unsafe with bad side effects.The symptoms of child bipolar are much different to adult bipolar. Child bipolar consists of a child having anger issues and chronic tantrums, for adults to be considered bipolar/manic they must have 3 or more of the following symptoms lasting for longer than one week.

Criteria for Manic Episode (DSM-IV, p. 332)
A. A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary).
B. During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree:

    -inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
    -decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
    -more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
    -flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
   - distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)
    -increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
    -excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

and then a 5 or more of symptoms of depression.

A. Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.

   - depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g. appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.

    -markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)
    -significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
    -insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
    -psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)
    -fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
    -feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)
    -diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)
    -recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

B. The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode.
C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
D. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).
E. The symptoms are not better accounted for by bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation.

I found the above information here: http://www.fortunecity.com/campus/psychology/781/dsm.htm

This is what i found for symptoms of child bipolar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_disorder#In_children

I have read a few reports made by doctors about how diagnosing bipolar in children, as being a big mistake and saying they are being miss-diagnosed and should be diagnosed with things such as server ADHD or ODD. ( not to say that some children do have actually bipolar). He said that when they are put on a stimulant they normally  get better but because being diagnosed with bipolar a doctor would be reluctant to do that as that will make bipolar worse. If you want to read more here is a link: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/745087

If you have any other questions feel free to ask
Good luck with finding the answers.

Freddie
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