Bipolar disorder most often develops in early adulthood but can start causing difficulties in younger children. If you have bipolar disorder or fear your child has symptoms, visit skilled psychiatrist Sanjoy Sathpathy, MD, and his team at So Cal Psychiatric Care in San Diego, California. The team offers expert diagnosis and effective management of bipolar disorder to people of all ages. To find out how you can benefit from bipolar disorder treatment, call So Cal Psychiatric Care or book an in-person or telehealth appointment online today.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood shifts. Patients experience bouts of excessively elevated mood (mania) and episodes of severe depression, making it difficult to handle daily living. While mania affects some people with bipolar disorder, hypomania (a less extreme form of mania) is more common.
Signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder often appear at around age 25 but may develop earlier. A manic episode might last for days or weeks, and depression for many months. The severity of bipolar disorder varies between patients and has three classifications:
Bipolar I disorder causes the most severe manic episodes with bouts of depression in between. This kind of bipolar disorder affects men and women equally.
Bipolar II disorder can cause severe depression that tends to cycle with hypomania rather than full mania. It’s more common in women.
Cyclothymia also causes episodes of hypomania and depression, but symptoms are less severe than with bipolar I and II disorders.
Symptoms can vary according to the type of bipolar disorder and the age at which it starts developing. Common symptoms of mania and hypomania include:
Children and teens with bipolar disorder may seem overly happy or frequently exhibit silly behaviors. When depression descends, it causes chronic fatigue, appetite changes, and feelings of hopelessness, despair, and self-loathing.
There’s no cure for bipolar disorder, so the So Cal Psychiatric Care team focuses on helping patients manage their symptoms. They encourage you to maintain a journal (recording routines for eating and sleeping) and help you to identify your mood swings.
Medications that can help with bipolar disorder include mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Talk therapies are also beneficial.
Children don’t show many signs of bipolar disorder compared to adults. Their symptoms can also resemble those of other conditions like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If you have any concerns about your child, it’s essential to seek an expert diagnosis and specialized care from professionals like the So Cal Psychiatric Care team.
For help with bipolar disorder at any age, call So Cal Psychiatric Care or book an in-person or telehealth appointment online today.