The Effects of Bipolar Disorder on Children and Their Families

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Varying moods and energy levels have been a part of the human experience throughout history. As time has progressed and these mood changes have been identified as disorders. One example, bipolar disorder is perhaps one of the oldest known diseases. It has grown into one of the most common illnesses that people of every age, culture, and gender must deal with on an everyday basis. In recent times bipolar disorder has become quite prevalent in children and adolescents causing and increased concern and interest in this area. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong mood disorder, characterized by recurrent manic or hypomanic and depressive episodes, (Miller, 2006). It has been know to interfere with cognition and behavior, which ultimately severely…show more content…
Children living with bipolar disorder also present significant high risk factors. Such factors include but are not limited to, suicide, self-harm, substance abuse, risk of sexual exploitation, and functional impairment, (Bradfield, 2010). Since it is extremely difficult for children with this disorder to control their emotions and themselves they often result in risky behavior that can harm themselves and others around them. For example, “the risk of completed suicide in people with bipolar disorder is among the highest of all psychiatric disorders,” (Bradfield, 2010). It is extremely important that when dealing with possible behaviors like this that direct and heavy treatments are implemented. Patients with bipolar disorder average three misdiagnoses and four different consultations before finally receiving and accurate diagnosis, and therefore it is extremely important that once the diagnosis is made a treatment plan can be put in place, (Miller, 2006). Unfortunately for children treatments are quite limited but they are still essential to the betterment of the child. The first step is usually to have the patient go on mood stabilizers, (Miller, 2006). It is the key recommendation in the first phase of treatment. When it comes to the mood stabilizers, one in three patients will remain symptom free throughout their lifetime while others experience a reduction in frequency and severity of episodes, (Miller, 2006). For
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