Frequently Asked Questions About Bipolar Disorder In Children

Can you imagine the mental distress that kids experienced when trying to diagnose their psychological disorders? They need to go to a psychological facility regularly, play with different mind-stimulated things, and answer various questionnaires – all to figure out if there’s something wrong with their brain or not.

This process is more common than you may ever know. Many illnesses have similar symptoms, particularly bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. Kids with either condition tend to have a short attention span or short patience with people or things; that’s why they might seem aggressive at times. In reality, though, they just had no idea how to express their emotion, so it comes out as aggression.


My Personal Experience As A Bipolar Child

I received the news that I had bipolar disorder when I was already 21 years old. However, I had been dealing with its symptoms from the age of 13.

Back then, I was labeled as a rebellious child. I would always ask my parents to let me hang out with my friends after school, and they would always say no, so I would often sneak out. It did not mean that I was never caught, though. Because of that, I would always get scolded. Still, it did not stop me from sneaking out repeatedly.

Then, there were times when I would refuse to converse with my family. They would get mad and assume that I was too childish or full of myself. They would challenge me to run away and then ask how a 13-year-old could stand on her own feet. At first, I tried to explain that I just did not want to talk, but I could not give them a reason for that, so I merely stopped trying to explain and accepted their words.  

One time, my mother came across a little girl with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Her parents were very open about her condition because they wanted other people to be aware that it existed. My mother noticed some of her symptoms in me, so she brought me to a child psychologist. They did some tests and initially diagnosed me with the same condition as that little girl. Hence, for many years, I thought I had ADHD.

When I turned 21, my doctor passed away, and we had to look for another psychologist. However, the second one that we found questioned the diagnosis that I got at 13 years old. She said that while I did have some ADHD symptoms, I also had other depressive and manic symptoms. Having both sets of symptoms was not too common in ADHD kids, according to her. That’s when it became known that I had been getting treated for a wrong illness for a long time. Instead of ADHD, I had was a bipolar disorder.


What is a major difference between unipolar and bipolar depression? 

Bipolar depression and unipolar depression manifest with the same symptoms, but there are three major differences:

  • Bipolar depression is on the edge of mania all the time.
  • Bipolar depression tends to be more episodic compared to unipolar depression.
  • Because of mania’s risk, the treatment for bipolar depression is different from that for unipolar depression. 

Can you have bipolar and major depression? 

If you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you may have episodes of mania or hypomania and depression. You can experience episodes in between if you do not have any indications. Also, it is possible to present with depression and mania symptoms simultaneously, which is often known as the mixed bipolar state. 

Is bipolar disorder worse than depression? 

Behavioral information found that when the subjects felt normal – meaning that they are not depressed – those diagnosed with bipolar disorder were at their worst in managing sad and happy emotions than those who had depression. However, when they felt depressed, the bipolar subjects were efficient at managing their happy feelings. 

What are the four types of bipolar? 

The American Psychiatric Association states that there are four major classifications of bipolar disorder. These include bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic disorder, bipolar disorder secondary to existing substance abuse or medical condition. 

Do people with bipolar ever feel normal? 

Bipolar disorder is a condition that elicits dramatic mood shifts, along with other symptoms. An individual with bipolar disorder will alternate amidst stages of depression and stages of mania. Additionally, in between these two ends, the individual will experience stages of normal mood. 

Does Bipolar get worse as you age? 

The requirement for psychiatric admission in the elderly group is increasing. But in contrast to schizophrenia, wherein about 30% to 50% of cases become better significantly with age, bipolar disorder does not improve with time; In fact, it usually worsens. 


Can bipolar people tell they are bipolar? 

The truth is that not everyone diagnosed with bipolar disorder is aware that they have the disorder. There are plenty of reasons why a person with bipolar disorder might not recognize it – or perhaps why they may not admit having it despite the fact that they do. 

What triggers bipolar? 

Factors that act as triggers for the onset of bipolar disorder include:

  • Stages of heightened stress, like a traumatic event or the loss of a loved one
  • A first-degree relative, for instance, a sibling or a parent, diagnosed with bipolar disorder
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

What is a bipolar person like? 

Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder have both episodes of mania and severe depression – excitement or joy, overwhelming happiness, decreased inhibitions, heightened energy, and a decreased need for sleep. The experience of bipolar disorder is distinctly personal. No two individuals have precisely the same experience. 

Can bipolar go away? 

While bipolar symptoms come and go, the disorder typically necessitates lifetime management and does not disappear by itself. Bipolar disorder can be a huge contributor to suicide, family conflict, and unemployment, but appropriate treatment results in better results. 

What should you not say to someone with bipolar? 

Some important things that one must not say to someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder include:

  • “Well, all of us have our moods from time to time.”
  • “You’re overreacting, you know that?”
  • “You are psycho!”
  • “Everyone can be a little bipolar at times, right?”
  • “If it does not kill you, then it will make you stronger.”
  • “Please stop acting like a maniac.”
  • “God, I wish I could be manic – then I’d get things done!”

What are the signs of bipolar in a woman? 

Some bipolar indications that are seen both in women and men include:

  • Decreased sleep
  • Overconfidence or feeling of grandiosity
  • Irritable mood
  • Easily distracted
  • Fast speech flow or racing thoughts
  • Increased energy
  • Greater than usual frequency of speech


Is bipolar inherited from the mother or father? 

Bipolar disorder can be inherited or genetic. But it will typically not be passed on to children. Approximately 1 in 10 children of parents or a parent who has bipolar disorder will have the condition. 

What are the signs of bipolar in a man? 

Most common indications of bipolar disorder in men include:

  • Worse symptoms
  • Recurrent manic episodes. Women probably experience more depressive bouts with their bipolar condition. 
  • Heightened aggression. When a man is suffering from an episode, he experiences a higher chance of manifesting a higher aggression form. 
  • Denial to pursue treatment.
  • Co-occurring substance use issues.

Final Thoughts

Despite the innovations in mental health, it’s sad to say that misdiagnosis is still common among bipolar patients. There is yet a distinct way of diagnosing them; that’s why many people have a similar experience as I did. My parents would have sued my former psychologist if she were still alive, but I guess the silver lining was that we found out that I had some form of disorder early. Thus, everyone somewhat understood that not all my actions were caused by my true nature. Still, it would have been nice if I knew that I was bipolar much earlier than that.


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