Whether your child is newly diagnosed or has lived with bipolar disorder for some time, it’s important to recognize the signs of mania/hypomania and when to call the doctor. Be aware of changes in behavior, sleep, energy level and thought pattern, especially if these differ from your child’s normal personality. Here are ten signs:
Your child may feel a strong need to talk, which presents as almost an obsession to talk about anything. This can include not being able to listen to anyone else talk. This may also involve periods of talking too loudly or too rapidly. He may talk so quickly that he jumps from topic to topic.
#2 Elation or giddiness
Your child’s mood may be unusually and inappropriately elevated without reason. She may seem super happy for hours or days and extremely wound up and excited. She may crack jokes more than usual or act in a silly way that is out of the ordinary. She may sing and dance during a sombre event or may even laugh hysterically while being punished for example.
#3 Irritability and/or rapid mood swings
Your child may have a chronic irritable mood instead of an elated mood. She could feel cranky for hours or days at a time and may be argumentative, easily agitated, and generally irritated by everything. She may even have rage attacks and prolonged temper tantrums. Your child could also experience rapid mood swings, with feeling on top of the world one minute to being angry with everyone and have intense rage the next.
#4 Decreased need for sleep/lots of energy
Your child may appear to have boundless energy, as if a motor drives him, or may have great difficulty falling asleep and require less sleep than usual. All this without feeling tired. He may rush around doing things nonstop.
#5 Racing thoughts
Your child may have racing thoughts and ideas that race through her brain and she is unable to slow the thoughts down. She might jump from topic to topic as her speech tries to keep up with the swirl of thoughts.
Your child may feel advanced, superior, and gifted with special knowledge that is beyond what other humans could understand or comprehend. He could believe he can do anything or be anything beyond what is usual for his age (for example, the best hockey player, famous rap star, prince, millionaire).
Your child may have a strong sexual impulse and desire and behave in a sexually inappropriate way. Young children may make inappropriate comments, gestures, and advances of a sexual nature. Preteens may dress provocatively and engage in sexual activity beyond their years. Teens may engage in risky sexual behaviors with multiple partners.
#8 Strange thoughts
Your child could be unusually suspicious of things and people and even hear voices that nobody else can hear and see things that nobody else can see. He could also experience dark and strange thoughts that scare him.
#9 Unusual/risky behavior
Your child may engage in behavior that is risky or foolish, such as jumping off heights, giving his possessions away. If he believes he has special powers, he may want to try to act upon those thoughts.
#10 Increased goal-directed activity
Your child may hyperfocus on a particular need, goal, or project to the exclusion of other things. She may have trouble staying on track with anything else that is happening around her. She may begin multiple projects with much enthusiasm and is unusually productive and highly creative.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community