View Full Version : Article: Red Flags: Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Children

10-31-07, 01:13 PM
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Red Flags: Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Children
From Kimberly Read & Marcia Purse, Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by Steven Gans, M.D.

Bipolar Child Basics

by Kimberly Read

"...A study conducted by Demitri Papolos, MD, and Janice Papolos indicates that over 80% of children who have Bipolar Disorder come from families with a history of mood disorders and/or alcoholism on both sides of the family. And yet, even when a strong family history of this is present, professionals rarely consider early-onset Bipolar Disorder. Many children who actually have Bipolar Disorder have been diagnosed with ADHD. Why? Because the official guidelines for diagnosing Bipolar Disorder found in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) outline criteria based on classic adult symptoms. When the last edition of the DSM was published, very little was known about how Bipolar Disorder presents itself in children.

A great deal more is now known about Bipolar Disorder in children. Demitri and Janice Papolos have written a well-researched book entitled The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood's Most Misunderstood Disorder. I was thrilled to review such a wonderful book. We applaud Demitri and Janice for providing this much needed, insightful resource! Below is an excerpt from their work (reprinted with permission), which lists those symptoms common to children who have early-onset Bipolar Disorder.

Very Common

* Separation Anxiety
* Rages & Explosive Temper Tantrums (lasting up to several hours)
* Marked Irritability
* Oppositional Behavior
* Frequent Mood Swings
* Distractibility
* Hyperactivity
* Impulsivity
* Restlessness/ Fidgetiness
* Silliness, Goofiness, Giddiness
* Racing Thoughts
* Aggressive Behavior
* Grandiosity
* Carbohydrate Cravings
* Risk-Taking Behaviors
* Depressed Mood
* Lethargy
* Low Self-Esteem
* Difficulty Getting Up in the Morning
* Social Anxiety
* Oversensitivity to Emotional or Environmental Triggers


* Bed-Wetting (especially in boys)
* Night Terrors
* Rapid or Pressured Speech
* Obsessional Behavior
* Excessive Daydreaming
* Compulsive Behavior
* Motor & Vocal Tics
* Learning Disabilities
* Poor Short-Term Memory
* Lack of Organization
* Fascination with Gore or Morbid Topics
* Hypersexuality
* Manipulative Behavior
* Bossiness
* Lying
* Suicidal Thoughts
* Destruction of Property
* Paranoia
* Hallucinations & Delusions

Less Common

* Migraine Headaches
* Bingeing
* Self-Mutilating Behaviors
* Cruelty to Animals

Matt S.
10-31-07, 02:35 PM
i can relate to a lot of that, growing up sure was different

05-28-11, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the post. I have got great idea what are all the common symptoms of bipolar disorder. Thanks again.
bipolar disorder symptoms (