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    Childhood Onset Bipolar Disorder Essay

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    Childhood Onset Bipolar Disorder Essay (COBPD) is one of themost debilitating mental disorders affecting children today. Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder usually affecting adultsthat causes sometimes severe changes in mood. ChildhoodOnset Bipolar disorder is just what it sounds like, abipolar disorder that occurs during childhood. Personssuffering from a bipolar disorder experience mood swingsranging from depression to mania.

    During a depressiveepisode patients can experience feelings of extremehopelessness or sadness, inability to concentrate andtrouble sleeping. Symptoms of mania include rapidly changingideas, exaggerated cheerfulness and excessive physicalactivity. Hypomanic symptoms are the same as in mania,however, they are not so severe as to require The fourth edition of the Diagnostic and StatisticalManual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) outlines the diagnosticcriteria for mood disorders. According to the DSM-IV, aperson must have at least 5 of the following symptoms duringthe same 2 week period to qualify as a major depressiveepisode: a depressed mood lasting most of the day forseveral days; a significant weight gain or weight loss; aloss of interest in activities; difficulty sleeping(insomnia) or an increased need for sleep (hypersomnia);restlessness or slowed pace observable by others; dailyfatigue; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; inability toconcentrate; or recurrent thoughts of death. These symptomscan only be diagnosed as a depressed episode if they are notbetter explained by grief, effects of a drug, or a medicalcondition.

    The person experiencing these symptoms must, alsoreport an interference in their daily functioning because ofthe symptoms. Finally, the persons symptoms do not meet the The criteria for a mixed episode state that the personmust display symptoms of depression and mania every day For an episode to be categorized as manic, thepatients mood has been irritable or abnormally elevated forat least 1 week. A person must also exhibit at least 3 ofthe following symptoms (4 if the mood is only irritable):extreme feelings of personal greatness; a decreased need forsleep, marked talkativeness; distractibility; extreme focuson a goal-directed activity; reports of racing thoughts ora flight of ideas; or excessive involvement in pleasurableactivities that have a high potential for painfulconsequences (i. e.

    sexual indiscretions or unintelligentbusiness investments). As in the criteria for a depressedepisode, the DSM-IV specifies that these symptoms should notbe better explained as being a side effect of a drug orillness to qualify as a manic episode. These symptoms mustinterfere with the persons normal functioning and must notmeet the criteria for a mixed episode. As with adults, childhood-onset bipolar disorder hasmany faces.

    Children with Bipolar I Disorder have episodesof mania and episodes of depression, sometimes there arelong periods of normal moods between episodes. Adultsusually tend to have more depressed episodes than manicepisodes. However, some children will have chronic mania(symptoms of mania lasting for long periods of time ormarked by frequent recurrence) and seldom experience adepressed episode. Bipolar II Disorder causes depressiveepisodes, sometimes lasting for long periods of time.

    It canalso cause hypomanic episodes, but manic episodes are notpresent. Unlike Bipolar I Disorder, for persons with BipolarII Disorder, periods of normal moods are virtuallynonexistent. Cyclothymia is characterized by frequenthypomanic episodes and occasional episodes of milddepression only. Some children have repeated hypomanicepisodes a year. Persons showing signs of depression andmania at the same time is referred to as being in a mixedstate. Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymia,and Mixed State Bipolar Disorder are all very rare in For many years it was assumed that children could notsuffer the mood swings of mania or depression, but as moreresearch has been done, we have realized that bipolardisorder can occur in children, and it is much more commonthan previously thought.

    Althoug, the DSM-IV does touch onthe subject of children with mood disorders, they are stilldiagnosed according to adult criteria. In children, maniaand hypomania appear as more of an irritable mood. Thesefeatures come and go throughout the day and are not aspersistent as in adults. When bipolar disorder is present inchildren it is more severe and harder to treat. Childrentend to experience extremely rapid mood swings, oftencycling from mania to depression and back to mania severaltimes a day.

    The most typical pattern of cycling among thosewith COBPD, called ultra-ultra rapid or ultradian, is mostoften associated with low arousal states in the morningsfollowed by increases in energy towards late afternoon orevening(Facts about COBPD; Difficulties with early onset bipolar disorder beginwith .

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