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: inattention, trouble listening, easily distracted, fidgety, acting without thinking, forgetting to turn in homework, talking too much and has difficulty playing quietly.
#2 Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
Many children can be defiant or oppositional periodically, especially when tired, upset or hungry. However, ODD symptoms include more hostile behavior and more frequently especially compared to other children. This oppositional behavior includes excessive arguing with and talking back to adults; disobeying rules; purposefully trying to annoy or upset people; frequent temper tantrums with anger and hateful talking. Medication may be helpful in controlling the symptoms relating to ODD and also ADHD.
#3 Anxiety disorders
While anxiety disorders are more common in patients with bipolar II, they still occur up to 56 percent with childhood bipolar. These can include separation anxiety, phobias, social anxiety and generalized anxiety. Symptoms can include excessively worrying, anticipating disaster, obsessions, compulsions, panic attacks and startling easily. Children who have both anxiety disorders and bipolar are more apt to have bipolar onset at a younger age.
#4 Panic disorder
Panic disorder in children and adolescents presents as panic attacks, which tend to come on without warning and can last minutes or even hours. Symptoms include: extreme fearfulness with a sense that something terrible is happening; pounding or racing heartbeat; dizziness and shortness of breath; a sense of unreality and a fear of losing control or dying.
#5 Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
This disorder is characterized by intense and recurrent obsessions and compulsions that can cause severe discomfort. Obsessions can cause persistent thoughts, impulses, or unwanted images/visuals that are frequently irrational. Compulsions are repetitive rituals like hand washing, organizing, counting, repeating words silently etc.. The obsessions and compulsions generally cause anxiety and distress and interfere with day-to-day functioning.
#6 Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Children who experience a catastrophic event may develop ongoing difficulties and may also re-experience the traumatic event by having frequent memories, frightening dreams and having emotional/physical symptoms when reminded of the event. Children may also show these symptoms of PTSD: worrying about dying young, troubles falling or staying asleep, displaying irritable or angry outbursts, troubles concentrating, being clingy and showing more extreme emotional reactions.
#7 Conduct disorder
Conduct disorders, which are more frequent in children with bipolar disorder I, refer to a group of behavioral and emotional problems. These children tend to have difficulty behaving in a socially appropriate way. This behavior can present as: arguing with and standing up to adults and authority; losing one’s temper easily and purposefully trying to annoy others; destruction of property; aggression toward people and bullying; stealing, deceitfulness and a serious violation of rules, at home and/or school.
#8 Substance abuse
Described as a dependence on drugs or alcohol, cravings for both and with withdrawal effects. Up to 40 percent of children with bipolar disorder have a cooccurring substance abuse disorder, with teens almost nine times more likely to experience this than preteens. While some of the warning signs can be symptoms of other problems, here are some things to look for: red and glazed eyes; fatigue; decreased interest in school, with truancy and a drop in grades a problem; irresponsible behavior and personality changes, such as low-esteem and a negative attitude.
July 4, 2019 • Volume 12, Issue 27Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines Silencing The Self-Defeating Inner Critic You can do nine things right and one thing wrong, and what you’re left with at the end of the day is a bunch of negative self-talk about that one wrong thing. All the right...
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