If your child is extremely moody, you may want to explore the possibility that he or she could have bipolar disorder. It is often difficult to diagnose bipolar children, as their behavior is often mistaken for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but it is possible to get a proper diagnosis.

You will have to see a mental health professional for a correct bipolar disorder diagnosis. Before you do that, check out these symptoms to look for if you think your child has bipolar disorder:

Abrupt changes in mood. Observe if your child goes from being very excitable to bored in a short period of time. They could be easily aroused going from calm and relaxed to very excitable and back again.

Bipolar children have shifts in mood that can range from mania, hypomania, depression, anger and anxiety. Your child may also experience mixed moods, which are an overlapping of these moods. Observe if your child experiences these shifts in mood frequently over the course of a year.

Changes in drives. You may notice that your child is more aggressive, has an increased appetite or need and demand for things such as toys and other possessions. With bipolar children, a fluctuation in drives will be notifiable over a one-year period.

Changes in self esteem. Bipolar children may go from having very high self esteem to feeling very badly about themselves.

Changes in sleep patterns. Children with bipolar disorder often have trouble sticking with a sleep pattern. It may be difficult for them to arise in the morning and/or to fall asleep at night.

Child has anxiety. If you have a bipolar child, you may notice that he or she has anxiety. According to medical research 52 percent of children with anxiety also have bipolar disorder.

Other things to observe:

If your child has one of these disturbances over the course of a year: increased aggression and excessive anger, he or she may have bipolar disorder. Bipolar children may have trouble accepting the word “no”, sharing, being patient or adapting to change.

For more information on bipolar children, I recommend The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood’s Most Misunderstood Disorder — Third Edition by Demitri Papolos MD and Janice Papolos.

Also check out:

Mommy I’m Still in Here: Raising Children with Bipolar Disorder

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