purposes only. Any person depicted here is a model and not an
actual patient unless otherwise noted.
Children with bipolar I disorder may experience extreme mood swings, which are not the same as normal transitioning from happy to sad. These mood changes are known as “episodes,” and there are three basic kinds: manic, depressive, and mixed. Mixed episodes include both manic and depressive symptoms.
A diagnosis for a manic episode includes an elevated or an irritable mood lasting at least a week, plus 3 or more of the following symptoms:
- An inflated feeling of power, greatness, or importance
- Needing little sleep
- Talking more than usual
- Racing thoughts
- Being easily distracted (attention shifts between many topics in just a few minutes)
- Intense focus on goal-directed activity or restlessness
- Risky or impulsive behavior
During a mixed episode, people have symptoms of both manic and depressive episodes that last at least a week. For example, a person may feel very sad or hopeless while also feeling extremely energized. In addition, they are often agitated, have trouble sleeping, experience major changes in appetite, and have suicidal thoughts. Compared with adults, young people with bipolar I disorder tend to have more mixed episodes, and are more prone to very rapid changes between high (manic) and low (depressive) moods.
A diagnosis for a major depressive episode requires having a depressed mood (can be irritability for children) or loss of interest or pleasure in activities a person used to enjoy. In addition, 4 of the following symptoms must also be present nearly every day for at least 2 weeks and be troublesome enough to interfere with daily functioning:
- Significant weight change (children may not achieve expected weight gains)
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Irritability, restlessness, or being slowed down
- Low energy or fatigue
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thoughts about suicide or dying
Important Safety Information: High fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, changes in pulse, heart rate and blood pressure may be signs of a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare and serious condition that can lead to death.See More Safety Information
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While there is no cure for bipolar I disorder, there areMore
effective approaches to help manage the symptoms.
ABILIFY (aripiprazole)is an option that may help.