Managing Moods Swings in Bipolar Babies and Young Children
Bipolar disorder is a condition that is often diagnosed only in teens and adults. However, there are rising cases of children and babies being diagnosed as bipolars. In fact, there are very young children who are currently being treated for this illness. When mood swings are to be expected as a result of this disorder, it can be quite a challenge for parents and caregivers to take care of a bipolar child.
Understanding bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a medical illness that is characterized by marked changes in temperament, behavior and mood swings. Bipolar disorder is also referred to as manic depression. It is a rather serious condition but it can be treated through medications and therapy.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder include:
– mood swings
– anger or rages
– destructive behavior
– separation anxiety
– no interest in play
– insomnia or difficulty in sleeping
– bed wetting
– restlessness and agitation
– extreme elation followed by extreme depression
– food cravings
– uncontrollable tantrums
The most important aspect of treating and managing bipolar disorder is early diagnosis and intervention. The symptoms of this disorder can appear in infancy and bipolar babies can be checked early by a medical professional so the correct treatment can be prescribed.
Is bipolar disorder common in babies?
There are no studies yet that will show how common the illness is among infants and young children. What is known, though, is that only as many as 2% of the adult population in the world have the disorder. It is also observed that children who have ADHD (attention deficit disorder) showed symptoms of bipolar early on in infancy.
Taking care of mood swings in bipolar babies
It is very important that a proper diagnosis is performed. This is so that any underlying conditions that may be causing the mood swings in the baby may be eliminated. This is because in some cases, bipolar disorder can only be a component of a bigger condition. A wrong diagnosis can not only prevent a child from getting the help he/she deserves, his health could also be placed in jeopardy if medications that are not appropriate for his condition are prescribed.
If bipolar disorder is indeed diagnosed, then it would be easier for the parents and the doctor to discuss which types of treatments may be helpful for the child. It’s important that parents understand the kind of demands expected from them when in comes to taking care of a bipolar baby. Therapies, medications, certain adjustments in diet and lifestyle, are just a few of the things that they have to be aware of.
Parents should also keep records of any improvements or unusual behavior in their babies during the prescribed treatment period. During consultations with the doctor, any new observations should be discussed.
Parents should also try to obtain updated information regarding bipolar disorder in babies. Other than online resources, there are also professional associations and groups that offer not just news, facts and statistics but also much-needed support. Joining online forums can also be helpful because many parents who have bipolar babies themselves frequently offer their own hands-on advice, something that inexperienced parents will find valuable.
There is no reason why a bipolar baby suffering from mood swings at a young age cannot grow up and become a healthy, fully functional adult. The key is for parents to ensure early diagnosis and treatment and sufficient medical, emotional and physical support for the child.