- What Is Bipolar Disorder?
- Bipolar Disorder (Mania) Quiz
- Facts About Depression
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- What is bipolar disorder?
- Who develops bipolar disorder?
- Why does someone develop bipolar disorder?
- What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
- Can children and teens with bipolar disorder have other problems?
- How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?
- How is bipolar disorder treated?
- What can children and teens expect from treatment?
- How can I help my child or teen?
- How does bipolar disorder affect parents and family?
- Where do I go for help?
- I know someone who is in crisis. What do I do?
Quick GuideBipolar Disorder Overview Pictures Slideshow
What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar "mood episodes" include unusual mood changes along with unusual sleep habits, activity levels, thoughts, or behavior. In a child, these mood and activity changes must be very different from their usual behavior and from the behavior of other children. A person with bipolar disorder may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or "mixed" episodes. A mixed episode has both manic and depressive symptoms. These mood episodes cause symptoms that last a week or two or sometimes longer. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day.
Children and teens having a manic episode may:
- Feel very happy or act silly in a way that's unusual for them and for other people their age
- Have a very short temper
- Talk really fast about a lot of different things
- Have trouble sleeping but not feel tired
- Have trouble staying focused
- Talk and think about sex more often
- Do risky things
Children and teens having a depressive episode may:
- Feel very sad
- Complain about pain a lot, such as stomachaches and headaches
- Sleep too little or too much
- Feel guilty and worthless
- Eat too little or too much
- Have little energy and no interest in fun activities
- Think about death or suicide