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How is bipolar disorder different in children?

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Young children in a manic phase might be more irritable than adults. They may be more likely to have psychotic symptoms, hearing and seeing things that aren't real.

During a depressive episode, they might be more likely to complain of physical symptoms, like aches and pains.

One of the most notable differences is that bipolar disorder in children cycles much more quickly. While manic and depressive periods may be separated by weeks, months, or years in adults, they can happen within a single day in children.

SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)."  WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment.  National Institute of Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."  Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.  MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."  WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression."  American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."






Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on July 12, 2018

SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)."  WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment.  National Institute of Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."  Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.  MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."  WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression."  American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."






Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on July 12, 2018

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