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Bipolar Disorder


About 1 in 100 American children have bipolar disorder or a related mood disorder. A person with bipolar disorder experiences extreme mood swings: from big, euphoric highs, or mania, to oppressive lows, or depression. In bipolar adults, this happens over a period of weeks or months. But in many bipolar children, moods change more rapidly, sometimes even within a single day. Usually bipolar children are diagnosed in their teen years. Most teens are moody, as any parent can confirm. But a bipolar teenager is more than just moody. Mania can cause extreme irritability, dangerous risk-taking behaviors, racing thoughts and increased sex drive - while depression can lead to aggression, sleep and appetite changes, feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. If you suspect your child suffers from these kinds of extreme mood swings, contact your pediatrician for advice.


The above script is part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) radio series 'A Minute for Kids,' which airs weekdays on WBBM-AM in Chicago, IL.
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