Manic Depression Symptoms in Children

Learn how I beat Depression

Until recent years, manic depression, a very serious yet treatable condition, was very rarely ever correctly diagnosed in children. Symptoms of manic depression are mood swings, erratic thinking and behaviour, and spells of increased energy or the lack there of.  Now days, medical professionals are able to recognize manic depression symptoms and treat them effectively in children.

Detection and Diagnosis

Symptoms of manic depression can become evident in a child’s life as early as infancy. The early symptoms include erratic sleeping patterns or difficulty settling down. During the toddler stage in a child’s life, symptoms are expressed through extreme temper tantrums, rages and severe separation anxiety.

Symptoms in children may not present themselves the same as in adults. Children who suffer from manic depression do display traits such as mood swings and erratic behaviour, however in children, these symptoms come in episodes. Episodes of elevated agitation or excitement and high energy are known as mania; episodes of extreme irritability or sadness followed by lethargy is the depression aspect of the disorder.

Different from adults, children tend to suffer from ongoing mood disturbances that are a combination of depression and mania. The severe and rapid cycle of moods creates a chronic sense of irritability and fewer episodes of excessive happiness and excitement. Rapidly cycling through moods is quite common among manic-depressive children, who may experience different episodes bouncing between depression and mania several times throughout a single day. These symptoms of depression and mania may even at times occur at the same time.

Associated Illnesses

In addition, in many cases, other mental disorders are found in children who suffer from manic depression. Some mental disorders commonly found alongside of or misdiagnosed as manic depression in children are Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Tourette syndrome and schizophrenia.

In is currently suspected that many children who are diagnosed with ADHD may actually be suffering from manic depression instead. Misdiagnosis can be dangerous, leading to the wrong medication, which can trigger extreme mania or thoughts of suicide in these children.

For many in their teenage years, it is found that a great loss or traumatic event can result in triggering the first manic or depressive episode. Later, these episodes can occur without obvious reason and may even worsen if stress is introduced into the child’s life.

Many children find puberty to be a time of risk for manic or depressive episodes. For girls, the disorder may be triggered by the onset of her first menstrual cycle and continue to experience symptoms with increased severity during her regular cycle each month.

Early diagnosis and treatment is the first step toward recovery from childhood manic depression. Early detection will give these children a better sense of stability in their lives so they can grow into happy, healthy adults.

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5 Comments

  1. vicky hart
    Posted May 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I am currently involved with a 45 year old male whom I think has ODD., oppositional defiant disorder.(even thought the lit on it seems to say it is for children) he exhibits so many of the symptons – i know his father (had him at 22) was humiliating, shaming, and very controling, belittling, demeaning, criticised him in front of friends,etc.demanded he do things immediately, built up his expectations to do something then changed his mind (the father) at the last minute & would not go on the outing, I think extremely emotionally abusive behavior – but this man’s symptons (name is Dave) may suggest other mental disease as well. I feel it is havng a terrible effect on me. I am currently living with him, and trying to finish writing a writng project. his face is a mask, no affect at all.
    total scary mask, no expression. anything you say, not anything, but I’d say 90% of the things you bring up he has the opposite point of view. opposes it immediately, and often hostilly, if you fight back and say that is just your own point of view, he tries to crush your feeling or idea, just opposing and crushing whatever you say or bring up. especially if he sees you are excited about somehting he puts it down immediately, blocks it, puts it in his own terms, like I said for examply “when I took a ride to the lake in the truck this morning I really missed my dog’s spirit (I usually take my dog on these little drives) and he said w/o missing a beat “No, you didn’t miss her spirit – you missed her presence” (always rephrasing what you say in his own terms. ) or you say, gee I”m feeling this, you know what I mean, and he says “no, I dont’ know what you mean” – complete lack of empathy, or interest. — then if you back down on your own point of view or an idea to do something, and he sees you have given it up, he’ll come back to it, and say well, maybe we can do that, yeah I can see that, once he’s crushed it out of you, or tried to. very confusing and feels evil. the other thing I notice and Scot Peck spoke about it in people of the lie, his book about the banality of evil, is that when you are around evil people, you feel confused, you feel that you have a weakened sense of self. and this is exactly how I feel, like i’ve been sprayed with bug spray. I lose my “will” to even move, to do what i’m supposed to do, and I think its all the opposing of everything, has a cumulative effect – to make you feel, just stopped, interupted, invisible, like you dont matter, I guess obviously if someone is trashing & oppsoing everything you say, how are you supposed to charge around in a healthy vibrant manner. etc. so the affect is extremely stultifying and numbing, I find myself not looking at anyone anymore, not taking in anything I might have feelings about, becoming critical and bitter of everything, when I am not like that, I’ve always been positive and pretty upbeat. but this is depressing the hell out of me. its like a huge wall, whatever you say is like a spitball against this wall, either he opposes it, trashes it, and rejects it, or he just doesn’t respond at all. another thing he does is if you say you saw a great movie, he’ll say, how many people were in the theatre. like numbers are safe for him so he does’t have to feel. anyway. am trying to finish a play, an important play that is going to new york, and I find myself in this nightmare life of small talk, reduced to whatever the other person will accept and won’t fight or oppose becoming less and less of who I am -why am I there, money of course, can’t work and write,but this may prove to defeat me in a much larger more soulcrushing way. anyway, it helped me to say this, if you have any advice or suggestions I would appreciate it. am trying to get a therapist. thank you for listening. best regards, vicky hart

  2. sara
    Posted May 21, 2009 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    My partner is suffering im sure fom many conditions, growing up he was physically abused from two step fathers, abandoned for a period of time by his Mother and sexually abused by someone at age 14 or 15. he is 40 yrs old now and has a drinking problem,he swears alot but can control it in certain company, he is obsessive about certain things and has these very excitavle episodes for a bout a week and then nothing, gets depressed. Sometimes he can become extremely hyper active and uncontrolable and he will drink until he falls down or is violently sick! He has obsessive begaviour towards sex, his idea of sex is the more perverted the better, he spends hours down loading animal beastiality porn collecting it and watching it. He has had two affairs that i know of in our marriage, he has been sacked from one job because of sexual harrassment. Appart from all that generally his behaviour is ok and he is a very loving and considerate man. he has a steady job working with people that have a disability or mental illness! and he is a very talented musician singer guitarist on the weekends. i feel that he may have elements of OCC, ODD, ADHD, manic depression brought on by his traumatic childhod, if there are any pprofessionals that cn give any advice please do. Thanks

  3. AK
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    Vicky hart: Why on earth would you stay with someone who makes you feel like that? Why? Why? Why?I have a child with someone who has his issues, deep issues, don’t have a name for his issues since I’m not a psychiatrist, I don’t know what he has, but I sure can relate to the way you are feeling because that is how I felt most of the time with him. I am a single mom, it’s hard as hell, but I’ve never been happier, not being “with him” any longer. Good Luck

  4. Martha
    Posted June 20, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Vicky,
    It seems to me that you are internalizing all of his negativity and he seems to be feeling a sense of accomplishment by doing so. Misery loves company and you are becoming his best friend. If you think you can’t afford to leave him now that you still have your talent, creativity and dream…… well just imagine how easy it will be for you to leave him once he has stolen that from you as well. Pick up while you can and get a knew start. You sound depressed and can’t help him if you can’t help yourself. Just take time to get centered. He will find someone else to bully. God bless

  5. Struggling Teens
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Bipolar disorder is a severe psychological problem in disturbed teenagers. Kids suffering from bipolar disorder are more likely to suffer from mood swinging problem. Sometimes it becomes hard to handle for kids and they become violent. In the mood swinging problem rapid and extreme mood changes happens, which can make children most enthusiastic or extreme depressed. For dealing with kids mood swinging problem, counselors recommend effective parenting and counseling programs that help in reducing negative behavior of stressed adolescents.

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