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In child-onset bipolar

A child who may be experiencing bipolar disorder, if not already diagnosed, should be treated by a child psychiatrist. A child with the disorder will need close monitoring of symptoms and may also benefit from counseling (R). Treatment of bipolar disorder in children differs depending on their age, symptom severity and type of bipolar disorder. Prognosis for children is good for individuals who receive effective treatment (R).


An estimated 1 to 2 percent of children are affected at some time during childhood by the disabling mood disorders known as child-onset or early-onset bipolar affective disorders (BPAD) (MDI). These conditions are characterized by abnormal mood states of abnormally elevated or abnormally depressed mood, associated with extreme changes in energy levelsand the ability to think, concentrate and make decisions. Mood changes in child-onset BPAD may be very rapid or ultrarapid, with a mean interval of about 9 days between mood shifts compared to about 4 days for -onset BPAD.

In child-onset bipolar disorder, the child has no prior history of mood who is a child psychologist  problems and displays an initial episode of depression or mania that appears out of character. In contrast, children with pre-existing bipolar disorder usually have a history of recurrent depressive episodes before developing manic symptoms (R). This is true for as well [MDI]. Most child psychiatrists believe that child onset bipolar disorder represents a separate diagnostic entity from onset disease [MDI]. The diagnosis inchildren is often missed because children exhibit different symptoms than .

 Treatment of child bipolar disorder usually involves a combination of medication and therapy. The goal of treatment is to stabilize the child’s mood swings and help them live a productive life. Medication may include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. Therapy may include family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or interpersonal psychotherapy (R).