From The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. It can also make it hard to carry out day-to-day tasks, such as going to school or hanging out with friends. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and many people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder often develop in the late teens or early adult years, but some people have their first symptoms during childhood. At least half of all cases start before age 25.2
Bipolar disorder tends to run in families. Children with a parent or sibling who has bipolar disorder are up to six times more likely to develop the illness, compared with children who do not have a family history of bipolar disorder. However, most children with a family history of bipolar disorder will not develop the illness.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents?
Youth with bipolar disorder experience unusually intense emotional states that occur in distinct periods called “mood episodes.” The extreme highs and lows of mood are accompanied by extreme changes in energy, activity, sleep, and behavior. Each mood episode represents a drastic change from a person’s usual mood and behavior.
An overly joyful or overexcited state is called a manic episode. An extremely sad or hopeless state is called a depressive episode. Sometimes, a mood episode includes symptoms of both mania and depression. This is called a mixed state. People with bipolar disorder also may be explosive and irritable during a mood episode.
Learn more and earn 1-hour of continuing education credit @ www.pdresources.org.
Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents is a 1-hour online CEU course that describes the symptoms and treatments for bipolar disorder (BPD) in children and adolescents. All parents can relate to the many changes their children go through as they grow up. But sometimes it’s hard to tell if a child is just going through a “phase,” or showing signs of something more serious. In the last decade, the number of children receiving the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, sometimes, called manic-depressive illness, has grown substantially. But what does the diagnosis really mean for a child? This course discusses bipolar disorder in children and teens, including signs and symptoms, differences between child/adolescent and adult BPD, diagnostic types, medications for BPD (along with their individual cautions), and other therapies. Course #10-68 | 2012 | 24 pages | 10 posttest questions
Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).