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Bipolar Disorder Community
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bipolar in toddlers?

What are the signs of bipolar in a toddler. My 4 yr. old is very moody and seems unhappy.
24 Responses
Avatar universal
It is very difficult to diagnose bipolar in people this young. Some parents report the following in diagnosed children:

    * an expansive or irritable mood
    * extreme sadness or lack of interest in play
    * rapidly changing moods lasting a few hours to a few days
    * explosive, lengthy, and often destructive rages
    * separation anxiety
    * defiance of authority
    * hyperactivity, agitation, and distractibility
    * sleeping little or, alternatively, sleeping too much
    * bed wetting and night terrors
    * strong and frequent cravings, often for carbohydrates and sweets
    * excessive involvement in multiple projects and activities
    * impaired judgment, impulsivity, racing thoughts, and pressure to keep talking
    * dare-devil behaviors (such as jumping out of moving cars or off roofs)
    * inappropriate or precocious sexual behavior
    * delusions and hallucinations
    * grandiose belief in own abilities that defy the laws of logic (ability to fly, for example)

It is important to keep in mind that having one or more of these symptoms in NO way signifies a disorder, less so a specific disorder. The following behaviors should be of concern, however:

    * destructive rages that continue past the age of four
    * talk of wanting to die or kill themselves
    * trying to jump out of a moving car

If you are truly concerned, speak to a board-certified child psychiatrist. A regular pediatrician is not qualified for behaviors such as the three above.
Avatar universal
When you say moody and unhappy, what specifically do you mean?
Avatar universal
Thanks and that sounds like him. I know that these things could be normal and that he could be going thru a stage, but it's been way to long to be a stage for him at this point. I am still waiting till about five yaers old to see how things go with him. As of right now things are going real bad at home at school every where. Thanks again.
Avatar universal
When I say moody I mean he will go from on mood to the next in a split secound and other times he'll it will take him a while. The unhappy thing well he just seems gloomy like blah at times.
Avatar universal
Watch for cycles.  One cycle full of energy, then can cycle to low energy.  Bad sleeping habits are a big sign that young.  Also if they are picky about certain things like won't wear a shirt if it has buttons, or tags things like that.  I remember when my son (who is BP) was young we would have to build him up just to have his picture taken.  He HATED having his picture taken (professionally).
Avatar universal
when I say young, I mean 3 or 4...he is almost 8 now...
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