I was just wondering how early the signs of bipolar can be seen in children? Also, what do the signals of a child who is bipolar look like?
This is quite the controversial subject … and a controversy I encounter every time I tell someone PDog has BP. Fact of the matter is, NO ONE wants to label a child with Bipolar Disorder. Children are growing and changing everyday. So how the heck can someone say any symptoms which appear to be bipolar aren’t just “a phase”?
Shortly after I began this site, I wrote a post titled “Are you glad to have a diagnosis, to be labeled?” wherein I discussed my feelings about my son’s “label”. In short, my answer was yes. I actually wish he had been diagnosed sooner. He was so weighed down with his moods, rages, and symptoms that he often got sent home from school and missed out on many learning experiences including but not limited to field trips and other would have been fun events.
After his diagnosis and treatment along with having the proper school accommodations, he’s a whole new kid. I mean he’s the same kids, but a kid who we only got to see a glimmer of between cycles.
And more importantly, he’s happy.
With that said, my son began displaying symptoms of bipolar disorder as early as four years old, at least that I can remember. Since then I have learned that children as early as three and four years old have been diagnosed with and treated for bipolar disorder. It’s a scarey fact, but at the same time encouraging to me. Everyone deserves the right to a proper diagnosis and the proper care. Why should age determine whether or not you have access to those rights?
However there are others out there who believe a child cannot be diagnosed with bipolar until they have at least gone through puberty. After all the major changes have happened. I can see where they are coming from, however I also remember being five, and thirteen, and older. I remember having symptoms as early back as I can remember. I remember highly struggling through my teenage years due to my undiagnosed disorder. So where I understand their concerns and hesitations, I have to disagree.
So … how early can a child be diagnosed with Bipolar? Well, I guess it depends on who you talk to. HOWEVER, I do know a child can experience symptoms from a very early age. Whether or not they are diagnosed, is a whole separate issue.
I hope this helped. Please feel free to ask any further questions you might have.