The study of Childhood Bipolar Disorder (BPD) is still in its early stages of understanding, and up to this point only one study has been done to find out the actual number of occurrences BPD has on children (Lewinsohn, Klein, & Seeley, 1995). Although psychological studies on the subject are limited, those who study this disease have found common symptoms and an importance in early detection and treatment. In this research paper we will take a look at the facts and finding on this clinical study, we will also look into treatments as well as medications for mood stabilizers for Childhood BPD, as well as the importance of early detection of Childhood BPD.
BPD found in young children and adolescents display actions different than symptoms found in adults mostly due to their underdeveloped mental capacities (Papolos & Papolos, 1999). The child tends to display infrequent occurrences of complete bliss, followed by a depressed state, which has been shown at time to be misdiagnosed as childhood depression, instead of Childhood BPD. Adolescents under the age of 9 typically will display more irritability. While children over the 9 display a more common form of BPD with high states of happiness and euphoria, followed up with paranoia, and high levels of frustration and quick -tempered anger (Geller & Luby, 1997).
Parents who have learned of their children having BPD have reported the disease having an affect on the child as early as the Utero stage (the child is still in the womb at this stage). Mothers have been known to report their infant of having irritability, colicky, overly attentive or alert, and the need for very little to inadequate amounts of sleep. Parents have also reported their child having emotional episodes where they will become disruptive, intensely cranky, and trouble when it comes to being able to fall asleep (Carlson 1995). Common reports have shown that once the child enters the preschool level, they suffer from extreme emotional highs then lows. One minute the child is hyperactive where they display over the top blissfulness, overly giddy to the point one could call it unsuitable or unbecoming. Following these traits, the child may then demonstrate extreme lows such as hostility, or anger, intense explosive rage that takes hours in order to bring the child back down to a calm level. In other extreme findings, the children have been reported making homicidal threats and even physically assaulting the parent(s). These fits may in fact come out of no where due to their impulsive, hyperactive, short attention span, and a low threshold for frustration. All these symptom could have a direct poor baring on the child scholastically ( Bowers 1998, Calson & Weintraub 1993, Lewinsohn et al, 1995).
If a parent feels their child may have BPD, a clinician could be able to diagnosis them. Signs that the clinician looks for include hyper-sexuality, pressured/ rapid speech, delusional thinking, and grandiosity (or a high-flown style) of thought. Clinicians have also reported children with BPD having hallucinations whether hearing or seeing things that aren’t actually going on around the child. Their hallucinations include severe paranoia with what can only be described as a peculiar behavior of thinking. Clinicians have also reported their child patients displaying aggressive or violent actions towards parents, peers, sibling, and pets. (Bowers 1998, Wozniak et al 1995).
Next we will take a look at the treatment options for children with BPD. The first step to helping a child suspected of having BPD is to have them examined by a child psychiatrist. As stated earlier, the study of childhood BPD is still in the early stages of practice itself. It is very important for parents to make sure that those they will have evaluate their child, be qualified and up to date with the most current practice guidelines that the childhood psychiatrist community follows. Another key point important to