Diagnosing Bipolar in Children and Teens

Articles and information from therapists, psychiatrists and families on the process of diagnosing a bipolar child, and the diagnosis or misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and teens.

Blogs and Articles

Symptom Patterns Could Lead to Future Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

bp Magazine
February 15, 2018

Thanks to a new study, two patterns of symptoms among young people could provide a better warning system for bipolar disorder’s future development.   Bipolar disorder is difficult to diagnose. While early depression and other mental health issues can come even years before bipolar disorder, there is a lack of information on specific precursors. There...

READ MORE

Mental Health Concerns Not a Focus in Preparing High School Students for College Despite Increased Risks

bp Magazine
February 8, 2018

NEW YORK, January 25, 2018—Most parents do not focus on preparing their children for the mental health issues they may face when transitioning to college or other post-secondary school, according to a new survey from WebMD/Medscape and The Jed Foundation (JED), “Preparing for College: The Mental Health Gap.” Yet, nearly half of all parents/guardians surveyed...

READ MORE

Research: Co-Existing Substance Abuse Predicts Worse Course of Bipolar in Youth

bp Magazine
April 17, 2017

  January 3, 2017, HOUSTON, TX—Children and youth who have co-existing bipolar disorder and substance abuse tend to have a worse clinical course than young people with bipolar disorder alone, a new study has found. American researchers looked at 331 young people ages 6 to 17, comparing those with bipolar disorder alone, those with co-existing...

READ MORE

Bipolar & Kids: 6 Ways To Know It’s More Than Just Acting Out

bp Magazine
March 31, 2017

Is it just troublesome behavior or could it be bipolar disorder? Consider these:   #1 The great imitator Bipolar in kids can mimic other conditions, such as anxiety disorders, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, to name a few. Many mental health professionals agree that the process of diagnosis is difficult given...

READ MORE

7 Tips To Explain a Bipolar Diagnosis To Your Child

bp Magazine
March 26, 2017

Your child can lead a healthy, productive life with bipolar disorder. Here’s how to start the conversation:   #1 Check in with yourself first Explore your own feelings about bipolar disorder or the term manic depression. Are there any issues present, biases or prejudices? Perhaps there’s someone from our past that we associate negatively. Sometimes, until...

READ MORE

8 Conditions That Can Coexist With Childhood Bipolar Disorder

bp Magazine
March 23, 2017

Other disorders can and do cooccur with juvenile bipolar. Here are eight:   #1 Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Up to 90 percent of youth with bipolar disorder have been described as also having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children and adolescents who have coexisting bipolar and ADHD often show some of the following symptoms:...

READ MORE

8 Things To Learn About Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

bp Magazine
March 5, 2017

Bipolar disorder in children is coming out from the shadows; here’s why:   #1 Prevalence Bipolar disorder was once thought to be an “adult” condition and that it could not express itself in children. Studies are now showing that half of the patients who suffer from bipolar disorder had their onset before the age of...

READ MORE

Why Diagnosing Children With Bipolar Disorder Can Be Difficult

bp Magazine
February 12, 2017

A significant challenge facing psychiatrists is accurately diagnosing bipolar in children. Aside from the controversies of its existence, the array of symptoms, how they present and the complexities of age all pose a problem. Experts weigh in on why it’s so difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder in children.   What is normal? Symptoms of pediatric...

READ MORE

Bipolar Can Mimic Other Conditions—7 Reasons to Pursue the Correct Diagnosis

bp Magazine
February 4, 2017

Many experts agree that children with bipolar are at developmental risk when they don’t receive proper diagnosis and treatment. Here are some reasons for the trend in diagnostic challenges and the risks for not getting an accurate evaluation for your child:   #1 The great imitator Bipolar in kids can mimic other conditions, such as...

READ MORE

8 Signs Your Child Might Have Bipolar Disorder

bp Magazine
November 12, 2016

An evaluation by a child/adolescent psychiatrist is the first step to a bipolar diagnosis. Here are eight symptoms that could warrant a visit to a mental health professional: #1 Manic Episodes Some signs your child may be experiencing mania, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP): Unrealistic highs in self-esteem, such...

READ MORE

How One Mother is Changing the Conversation on Childhood Mental Illness

bp Magazine
October 14, 2016

Advocate and filmmaker Randi Silverman opens up about trusting her instincts and staying strong while seeking guidance to help her child’s struggle with bipolar disorder.   The film No Letting Go reflects the real-life struggles of Randi Silverman’s family after her middle son began to manifest early symptoms of bipolar disorder. The movie’s goal is...

READ MORE

Research: Predictors Of Bipolar In At-Risk Youth Identified

bp Magazine
September 12, 2016

Predictors for whether at-risk youth are likely to develop a bipolar spectrum disorder identified.   February 19, 2016, PITTSBURGH, PA—A new study has identified predictors for whether at-risk youth are likely to develop a bipolar spectrum disorder. Researchers with American and Canadian affiliations looked at around 350 youths ages 6 to 18 who had a...

READ MORE

Randi Silverman: Her Son’s Bipolar Journey, Turned Movie

bp Magazine
July 15, 2016

Randi Silverman’s new film No Letting Go reflects the real-life struggles of her family after her middle son began to manifest early symptoms of bipolar disorder.   The bewildering effort to figure out what was wrong and how to make it better fired Randi’s  passion to help other parents. She co-founded a support group, dove...

READ MORE

“No Letting Go” Movie – A Family’s Journey To Understand & Cope With Their Teenage Son’s Bipolar

bp Magazine
April 28, 2016

Based on a true story the film follows the journey of caring for a teenage son with bipolar disorder, the difficulties with diagnosis, (finding out what was ‘wrong’ with him), and the impact on him and his family.   Based on a true story and adapted from ILLNESS, an award winning short film, NO LETTING GO...

READ MORE

Watching For Signs of Bipolar in Children

Donna Jackel
November 9, 2015

Children and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is an increasingly controversial topic.We take a hard look at this hot issue.   By Donna Jackel   Donna S. often catches herself watching and waiting for something she hopes will never happen. Ever since she learned that bipolar disorder has a strong genetic component, Donna has been...

READ MORE

ADHD or Bipolar? Detecting Bipolar Among Lookalikes in Kids

George T Lynn
November 1, 2015

Therapist George Lynn describes the fine differences between similar looking disorders in children: attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).   As a mental health counselor who works with children diagnosed with bipolar disorder and author of a book on the subject, parents often ask me to evaluate their elementary-school-age children...

READ MORE

Research: Study Offers Clues to Early Detection of Bipolar Disorders in High-Risk Children

bp Magazine
March 3, 2015

New research finds strong link between sub-threshold manic episodes and likelihood of developing bipolar disorder in children of parents with bipolar disorder.   Newswise — New research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicates a strong link between sub-threshold manic episodes and likelihood of developing bipolar disorder in children of parents with bipolar disorder....

READ MORE

Does My Teenager Have Bipolar Disorder?

Julie A. Fast
January 22, 2015

How can you tell the difference between typical teenager behavior and behavior that might be caused by bipolar disorder? By Julie A. Fast   The majority of bipolar disorder symptoms start in the teenage years.  However, in my experience, determining the difference between typical teenage behavior and behavior that is a result of bipolar disorder...

READ MORE

Explaining a Bipolar Diagnosis to Your Child

Susan Resko
January 1, 2013

How do I explain my child’s diagnosis to him? I don’t want him to think of himself as “mentally ill.” By Susan Resko   Honesty is always the best policy. But before you talk to your child, you may want to explore your own feelings. Do you have any biases, prejudices, or issues with bipolar...

READ MORE

Pediatric Puzzles: Seeking a Bipolar Diagnosis in Children

Donna Jackel
February 1, 2010

Although it has become much more common, diagnosing bipolar disorder in children and teens poses special challenges, including misdiagnosis due to other conditions that share the same symptoms. By Donna Jackel   In less than a generation, childhood bipolar disorder has morphed from an extremely rare diagnosis to one very much on the radar of...

READ MORE