In children and youth, moods can quickly change from one extreme to another often without a clear reason. For adolescents who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, these mood changes are different than usual moods, and can cause changes in behaviour and other symptoms. These moods are referred to as mood episodes, and those with bipolar disorder have manic and depressive mood episodes. The manic and depressive episodes are referred to as the “highs” and “lows”. It is important to be informed about what bipolar symptoms look like and what treatments are available. Here are five facts about bipolar disorder that you might not know:
Bipolar disorder is more than just mood swings.There are a number of symptoms associated with manic episodes (including risky behaviours, short tempers etc.) and with depressive episodes (including thoughts of suicide, eating too little or too much etc.). These symptoms can vary depending on the person.
Bipolar disorder can sometimes be difficult to diagnose.In children, the symptoms of bipolar disorder appear less obvious and can be more challenging to diagnose, as they look like symptoms of other diagnoses and needs.
There are many myths and stigmas around bipolar disorder.The term “bipolar” is often misused and is not easily understood. Those close to people living with bipolar disorder must change their way of thinking in order to better support their family member or friend.
Mood disorders are often very treatable.There are a variety of different treatments that can help a child or youth with bipolar disorder manage their symptoms. Every person is unique, so their treatment will be created to better serve their particular needs.
Self-care for families and caregivers of children and youth with bipolar disorder is extremely helpful.It is important for families and loved ones to address their own needs, so that they can be in the best place to help their child. If you take care of yourself, you will be in a much better position to help your loved one!
Want to expand your knowledge on bipolar disorder? The AdoptOntario team have created a specific section on their website all about this special need called Understanding Bipolar Disorder.
Test your knowledge about bipolar disorder in children and youth through our quiz!
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