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.
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.