It can be difficult to diagnose a child with bipolar disorder because kids can move quickly from manic to depression while adults stay in that state for much longer periods of time. Birmaher B. said that it is difficult to diagnose bipolar in children because of the child’s immaturity compared to diagnosing adults where they are more mature and they can describe or talk about what they are feeling where it can be easily detected.
Another difficulty is that the disorder can show up with a lot of other signs and symptoms that over lap with other problems or comorbidity. We know that with bipolar children they have aggressiveness, but that could be seen as an oppositional child who really has trouble in school or someone who has some other medical illness who is showing it in their behavior. In a recent case a 11year old girl got admitted to the Centre hospitalier at the University of Sherbrooke for a first manic episode, she was given different diagnoses of adjustment disorder, adhd, odd, and conduct disorder that were considered. She was given medication and when she relapsed they find out that she had bipolar disorder through talking with her mother and that her mother has a disorder and it could have been passed on through the genes.