5 Signs Your Child Might Have Bipolar Disorder

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It is common for kids to have mood swings, as their mood and energy levels fluctuate throughout the day. Especially when children reach puberty, they may show signs of anger, irritability, and confusion.

It is normal for their mood to change more quickly and randomly, however, you should take notice if your child experiences severe mood swings. Bipolar disorder is characterized by shifts in mood that are intense.

A person may experience severe episodes of mania and depression from time to time. While bipolar disorder is generally diagnosed in adults, it is not rare in teenagers now.

In fact, most adults with bipolar disorder experience their first symptoms before they enter adulthood. It is not as common in children, but there are several children struggling with bipolar disorder in outpatient and in-patient psychiatric care.

A science-based understanding can help distinguish between your child’s regular behavior and symptoms of bipolar disorder. Here are 5 common signs that your kid may need pediatric urgent care:

The Highs

Manic episodes are the times when your child may feel most euphoric, whether in terms of energy or confidence. Activeness is pretty normal at such a young age, but excessive energy is a hallmark of bipolar disorder.

During a manic episode, children feel jumpiness and restlessness, which makes them engage in time-consuming and mentally exhausting activities. Their mental capacity increases, making their minds race with numerous thoughts.

As a result, you will see them talking rapidly and making impulsive decisions. The high period also causes sleeplessness, or it may diminish their need for an adequate amount of sleep. Teens will show feelings of aggression and self-importance, as well.

The Lows

An episode of depression is the period when your child may feel at their lowest. They will become disinterested in the activities and hobbies that they usually enjoy. At variance with a manic episode, adolescents may experience very low energy levels and fatigue.

It can lead to them sleeping for long hours or not getting enough sleep. Physical difficulties, such as stomach aches and headaches, might accompany a depressive episode, causing children to lose their appetite and parents to seek pediatric urgent care for their child to get them any necessary treatment. Some people, on the other hand, may use food as a coping mechanism and binge eat when they are depressed.

Loss of concentration can impact their performance at school, as well. Some of the common symptoms of a depressive episode include feelings of anxiety, anger, guilt, and worthlessness.

Mixed Episode

It is not necessary that your child will experience a manic episode and a depressive episode at different times. Some adolescents may have a combination of both episodes at the same time.

They might abruptly switch from the highs to the lows, sometimes multiple times in the same day. Mixed episodes are more common in adolescents than in adults.

During this period, children can lose balance in their actions. They might start sleeping excessively or get used to sleeplessness.

Major changes in eating habits such as loss of appetite or overeating are both signs of a mixed episode. Teens can also mention or give threats about suicide.

Drop-in Academic Performance

Kids spend the majority of their time at school, which is why teachers can easily notice the changes in a child. Studies require a certain level of alertness and concentration, but a manic or depressive episode can make it difficult for your child to study.

Bipolar disorder can cause school failures and a lack of class participation. Because of their mental health, many teenagers lose interest in sports and other extracurricular activities.

It can get pretty challenging for adolescents to deal with demanding academic requirements, while they are struggling with bipolar disorder. Therefore, if you see your kid falling behind in classes, you should look out for them instead of being disappointed.


We are all aware of the stigma around mental health. Due to their mental illnesses, teens often choose to isolate themselves. They avoid hanging out with their friends and don’t attend social gatherings or parties.

Most of the time, you will find them spending too much time in bed or playing video games for hours. During a depressive episode, it is common for kids to avoid social interaction, as they feel exhausted and anxious.

As bipolar disorder can make them unavailable for their loved ones, they might feel undeserving of the relationships in their lives. It is not hard to notice the signs of isolation in your child.

Their teachers and peers can assist you in determining whether or not your child is avoiding social situations.


Dealing with bipolar disorder is not easy for anyone, especially adolescents. Youth is the part of their lives that they wish to enjoy, but a mental illness can make things very tough for them.

Bipolar disorder can make children feel unheard and misunderstood, even by the people closest to them. If your child shows the symptoms of bipolar disorder, you should make every effort to be there for them.

You should seek help and speak with a mental health professional immediately.

The medical team at Health Canal has shared that alongside the treatment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating and sleeping well, exercising, socializing, and participating in activities can be helpful for managing bipolar disorder.

Your child needs your support and empathy more than anything else, hence strengthening your relationship with them can help them feel safer, too.


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