Childhood Onset Bipolar Disorder Essay

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Childhood Onset Bipolar Disorder

Childhood Onset Bipolar Disorder (COBPD) is one of the most debilitating mental disorders affecting children today. Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder usually affecting adults that causes sometimes severe changes in mood. Childhood Onset Bipolar disorder is just what it sounds like, a bipolar disorder that occurs during childhood. Persons suffering from a bipolar disorder experience mood swings ranging from depression to mania. During a depressive episode patients can experience feelings of extreme hopelessness or sadness, inability to concentrate and trouble sleeping. Symptoms of mania include rapidly changing ideas, exaggerated cheerfulness and excessive physical activity. Hypomanic symptoms are
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For an episode to be categorized as manic, the patients’ mood has been irritable or abnormally elevated for at least 1 week. A person must also exhibit at least 3 of the following symptoms (4 if the mood is only irritable): extreme feelings of personal greatness; a decreased need for sleep, marked talkativeness; distractibility; extreme focus on a goal-directed activity; reports of ‘racing’ thoughts or a flight of ideas; or excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (i.e. sexual indiscretions or unintelligent business investments). As in the criteria for a depressed episode, the DSM-IV specifies that these symptoms should not be better explained as being a side effect of a drug or illness to qualify as a manic episode. These symptoms must interfere with the person’s normal functioning and must not meet the criteria for a mixed episode. As with adults, childhood-onset bipolar disorder has many faces. Children with Bipolar I Disorder have episodes of mania and episodes of depression, sometimes there are long periods of normal moods between episodes. Adults usually tend to have more depressed episodes than manic episodes. However, some children will have chronic mania (symptoms of mania lasting for long periods of time or marked by frequent recurrence) and seldom experience a depressed episode.

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