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What are signs of bipolar disorder in children?

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Signs of bipolar disorder in children include a combination of several symptoms, such as rapidly changing moods that last a few days or hours, defiance of authority, hyperactivity and agitation, destructive rages, and extreme sadness or a lack of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable, according to PsychCentral. Children with bipolar disorder may also experience separation anxiety, impaired judgment and impulsivity, and inappropriate sexual behavior.

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Additional symptoms of bipolar disorder in children may include strong and frequent cravings for sweets or carbohydrates, dare-devil behaviors, grandiose beliefs in their abilities, and an inability to sleep or sleeping too much, explains PsychCentral. Some children with bipolar disorder may also experience night terrors, bed wetting, and a need to be overinvolved in activities and projects.

When these symptoms occur alone, they are frequently part of normal childhood development; it is when they occur in combination that bipolar disorder may be present. Medical professionals evaluate the signs of bipolar disorder in children to determine whether or not multiple symptoms combined indicate the disorder exists, according to PsycCentral. A health care professional often evaluates children in many settings for at least two weeks to determine consistency of symptoms, rapid mood swings at both home and school, and the existence of hyperactivity.

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