The likelihood of bipolar disorder inflicting on young children these days is slim, but it can occur. If you are bipolar, it is highly like (about 15-30%) for your child to have it too. Now, if you and your spouse or partner both have the disorder, then, 75% of your children will have it as well.
In the US today, 2.8% of the adult population is suffering from bipolar disorder. It means, at least 30% of that number will have kids with bipolar disorder.
What Is A Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a severe mental health issue. Decades ago, the condition was referred to as manic-depressive because the person suffering from it will experience a period of depression followed by a period of extreme happiness. John Preston, PsyD elaborates that “Bipolar disorder is probably the main psychiatric disorder where medication is absolutely essential.”
When in a state of depression, wherein kids are unfortunate and feel low, the experts call it depressive episode. On the other hand, when the kids are super happy and overly energetic, they call it a manic episode. It is not normal because when the children experience these incidents, the mood swings are too extreme and they cannot reason, among other physical and mental changes that go with it.
What Are Signs Of A Depressive Episode?
- They feel extremely sad and lonely.
- The kids will suffer from headaches and stomach pains.
- They sleep in a lot, or they are insomniacs and don’t sleep much.
- The children will feel that they are not worthy.
- They feel guilty about whatever they fixate it on.
- The kids don’t eat much, or they binge eat.
- They are not fond of doing things that they usually enjoy.
- The children contemplate dying, death, or suicide.
What Are Signs Of A Manic Episode?
- They feel thrilled and abnormally silly.
- The kids are usually short-fused.
- They talk a lot and fast while jumping from one topic to another.
- The children have problems with sleep, and they are not fatigued.
- They have issues with focusing on things.
- The older kids (teens) will want to try out sex, talk about it a lot, and maybe obsess over it.
- They feel daring and will display risky behavior.
How Can A Child Develop Bipolar Disorder?
According to Catherine “Katie” Ness, MA, LCPC, “Bipolar Disorder is a mental health issue where neurological differences can be observed between those who have and do not have this diagnosis.” Scientists are still researching this condition some more, but they have provided one particular reason – genetics. It was the standard determining factor in studies on why people develop bipolar disorder. The scientists also mentioned that bipolar disorder in children affects the brain structure which is apparently biological and environmental, hand in hand. For now, there is still no permanent cure for it, but there are ways to manage this mental health issue.
Are there any other problems that can be linked to bipolar disorder in children?
There are at least three mental health issues that can be connected with bipolar disorder:
- Drug and alcohol use – Because of their unusual mood swings, children with bipolar disorder may try to blank it out with drugs and alcohol.
- ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may go hand in hand with bipolar disorder since both have trouble with “focus.”
Can Counseling Help Children With Bipolar Disorder?
Simon Rego, PsyD said, “The first line of intervention for bipolar disorder is medication.” There are two ways to help kids with bipolar disorder – medication and therapy or counseling. As for medicine, a psychiatrist is certified to provide that prescription. Most often, one to two drugs is recommended for children with such issues. If taken as prescribed, it will help control the episodes.
Counseling is required for children with bipolar disorder if you want them to be able to manage their condition. It is not a cure, but it can assist as a coping mechanism. Talk therapy, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, occupational therapy, and the likes will produce positive results on the children, provided they are on a therapy program.
If you want an easier and more convenient way to get therapy for your child or for you, reaching out to BetterHelp is a great alternative. A counselor is available for your specific mental health concern anytime and anywhere. There are many benefits of online therapy, including signing up with just a click of the app on your smartphone and getting connected right away. Visit this link for more information about BetterHelp and getting the therapy that you need now.
(If you want to know more about bipolar disorder, this site can help: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/what-is-the-difference-between-uniploar-depression-and-bipolar-depression/)