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Or is it something more?

Pediatric bipolar disorder is a genetic, neurobiological illness that can present in childhood or the teen years.

It is often misdiagnosed as ADHD, or dismissed as defiance, out-of-control behavior, and even a symptom of poor parenting.

But pediatric, or early onset bipolar disorder is very real and requires appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Here are some of the most common symptoms:

Mania

  • Severe mood swings -- overly irritable or overly silly, giddy
  • Inflated sense of self -- seems to feel superior
  • Talks too much, too rapidly, and/or changes topics quickly
  • Easily distracted
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Destructive
  • Hypersexuality

Depression

  • Sad
  • Irritable
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Moves and/or talks slowly
  • Cries often or excessively
  • Feels worthless
  • Feels unnecessarily guilty
  • Talks of death or suicide
Bipolar disorder puts kids at increased risk of school failure, substance abuse, self-harm and suicide.

Bipolar disorder is serious, but it is treatable.

If you suspect your child's moodiness may be something more, see your doctor immediately.

For more information on Pediatric Bipolar Disorder, visit Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation or Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation.

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