Bipolar Disorder in Children

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Symptoms of bipolar disorder

There is a risk of 1% among the general population to develop the bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder can skip generations and can take various forms.

Symptoms may appear early in childhood, but they usually appear in adolescence or adulthood. American Academy of research shows that in the United States up to 1 / 3 of 3, 4 million children and adolescents suffer from depression.

Depressive symptoms:

– repeated crisis of sadness
– self isolation from society and abandon of the activities that were considered pleasant before the occurrence of the disease;
– Lower energy level, lack of enthusiasm or motivation
– Feelings of guilt
– Susceptibility to rejection
– Changes in habits
– headaches, stomach pain
– Black thoughts and / or suicide

Many teens with bipolar disorder present addictions to alcohol or drugs, as it is the manner in which they try to self induce a better mood;

Symptoms of depression in children and adolescents are the same as in adults. However, recognition and diagnosis may be more difficult.

Symptoms of major depressive disorder:

– Exaggerated sadness
– A significant change in appetite and weight loss
– Sleep disorders
– Physical agitation
– Lack of energy
– Feelings of guilt
– Difficulties in concentrating

Five or more of these symptoms must persist for two or more weeks before a diagnosis of depression is established.

Symptoms that may be associated with depression in children:

– Headache, muscle pain, fatigue
– Frequently absence from school or poor school results
– Irritability
– Disregard for the common social activities
– Abuse of alcohol and / or substances
– Social isolation, poor communication
– Sensitivity to rejection or failure

Many teens with depression abuse alcohol and drugs, perceiving this as a way to manage their mood and behavior. Any child or adolescent who abuses substances should be evaluated for depression.

Children’s depression

Depression is a serious health problem that affects people of all ages, including children. In fact, depression affects 1 in 33 children and 1 in 8 teenagers.

Depression can lead to social isolation and it affects the relations with family and friends. Depression in children is also associated with an increased risk of suicide. It is estimated that more than 90% of children and adolescents suffer from depression. The risk is increased among teenagers, who present behavior problems, substance abuse, or diabetes.

Once a young man has had an episode of depression, he / she has an increased risk for another episode in the next five years. Children with depressive episodes were five times more likely to develop depression than the adults.

Causes of depression in children

Children who develop depression have a family with medical history that presents this disorder, stressful life events (loss of a parent, divorce, discrimination), but they can also present other psychological or physical problems. All these factors mentioned above may contribute to depression development. Children who live an experience of abuse, neglect or other trauma or who have a chronic disease present a higher risk to depression. Depression in children often occurs along with other problems such as anxiety disorder or disruptive behavior.

Other risk factors in the development of depression:

– Stress
– Smoking
– Loss of a parent or a friend
– End of a relationship
– Learning disorders
– Chronic diseases such as diabetes
– Abuse or neglect
– Other traumas, including natural disasters



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