Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

New Treatment Guidelines for Bipolar Children

Careful Diagnosis, Psychiatric Drugs, and Therapy Can Help, Report Shows

How to Distinguish Misbehavior From Mental Illness continued...

Frequency, intensity, number, and duration of symptoms -- "FIND," for short -- are important.

They say that for example, a child who becomes silly and giggly to a noticeable or bothersome degree for 30 minutes twice per week has some unusual behavior, but the frequency, intensity, number of episodes, and duration may not qualify for a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

It's also important to note the context of the behavior. "Hot, hungry, stressed, and/or tired children without psychopathology may become irritable," write the authors.

Likewise, grandiose statements (such as "I am Superman") might not signal mental illness, depending on the child's age, say the authors in the journal.

When children are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it's vital that they get proper care. Medications known as mood-stabilizing drugs, such as lithium, can help control bipolar disorder. In addition therapy can help, and family involvement is important, write the authors.

"It is often necessary to use several medications in combination because these kids are very ill, often suicidal, or too manic and depressed to attend school," says Kowatch, in a news release. "Stabilizing their moods and allowing them to return to school as soon as possible is critical if they are to lead normal lives."

1|2

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply