View Full Version : understanding bipolar possibilities in kids

02-11-13, 12:34 PM
Below is what I wrote in my other thread about Rebecca's issues and health class and I was hoping to get some feedback.

one thing much as I know about bipolar disorder, I dont know anything about how or when or if it manifests itself in children. I know that diagnosing a child or teen with bipolar can be considered controversial especially with all of the warnings about the meds to treat it. I also know that this has a strong genetic component. My father was the old school "manic depressive" so I am fairly certain thats how I came to be bipolar...that combined with a f**ked up childhood. Rebecca doesnt have a bad childhood at least from the family standpoint. I dont even know how much of her mood swings and impulsive behavior is adhd and how much could be considered bipolar? I am not anxious to slap another dx on her, especially one that carries so much bias. I am not even saying she is bipolar, but I wonder sometimes how much this is related to being a teen? Hormones? Exposure to (IMO) a totally ineffectual and innapropriate way of educating girls about their bodies and eating disorders? I'm rambling. Any one have kids diagnosed with clinical depression or bipolar? I mean maybe I am over reacting but I promised myself with the first child that I would never ignore their mental health or leave it untreated. I want my kids to have the best shot at a healthy life with every opportunity they deserve.

Trooper Keith
02-11-13, 01:20 PM
Need more history on Rebecca to make a call here. What are the symptoms? What is the patient's age? The reason bipolar is so tricky to diagnose in children is that it's presentation is entirely different in children, and a lot of the symptoms that would indicate it in adults are totally normal in adolescents. Further, a lot of the symptoms that would indicate it in children are normal in children under certain circumstances and within certain parameters.

Pediatric bipolar disorder is going to be all but done away with by DSM-V, falling under a different diagnostic category based on research in children. The entire pediatric bipolar phenomenon as it stands is a result of practitioners making diagnoses based on clinical judgment rather than empirical evidence, which, while I fully support in most cases, tends to indicate using medications that simply aren't ideal for developing minds.

Remember that being a child is hard and often sucks. Children are moody over what appear to be stupid things, but they are important to those children. Trying to make a child happy all the time is foolish, and most laypersons aren't capable of objectively assessing whether a child's behaviors are normal for that child's developmental level - even parents. Especially parents. So don't rush to push a child into treatment unless there are serious signs of risk. The current push is to treat every child with even the most basic warning signs, but I increasingly believe this to be a fool's errand and more damaging to children than it is helpful.

02-11-13, 01:47 PM

Some research might be helpful.

The book The Bipolar Child by Papolos and Papolos is considered to be a good go to book for both parents and clinicians and I think it would be worth a read and a good place to start.

They have a web site. I haven't looked at it in a while but again, it might be worthwhile to check out.

Keep on plugging,


02-11-13, 05:42 PM

You are such a good Mum Sarah. Rebecca is lucky to have you.