Bipolar Disorder (cont.)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Bipolar disorder facts
- What is bipolar disorder?
- What is the history of bipolar disorder?
- What are the types of bipolar disorder?
- What are bipolar disorder causes and risk factors?
- What are bipolar disorder symptoms and signs in adults, teenagers, and children?
- How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?
- What illnesses coexist with bipolar disorder?
- What are bipolar disorder medications and other treatments? Are there any home remedies or alternative treatments for bipolar disorder?
- How is bipolar disorder treated during pregnancy and the postpartum period?
- What are complications and the prognosis/effects over time of bipolar disorder?
- Can bipolar disorder be prevented?
- Where can people find more information about bipolar disorder?
- Where can people find support to help them or someone they know cope with bipolar disorder?
- Bipolar Disorder (Mania) FAQs
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What are bipolar disorder symptoms and signs in adults, teenagers, and children?
In order to qualify for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, a person must experience at least one manic episode. Characteristics of manic episodes must last at least a week (unless it is part of mixed features) and include
- elevated, expansive, or irritable mood;
- racing thoughts;
- pressured speech (rapid, excessive speech);
- decreased need for sleep;
- grandiose beliefs (for example, feeling like one has super powers or superlative talents or faults);
- tangential speech (repeatedly changing conversational topics to topics that are hardly related);
- increased goal-directed activity;
- impulsivity and poor judgment (like spending sprees or promiscuity).
Symptoms of the manic episode of early onset bipolar disorder tend to include outbursts of anger and rage, as well as irritability, as opposed to the expansive, excessively elevated mood seen in adults. The adolescent with bipolar disorder is more likely to exhibit depression and mixed episodes with rapid changes in mood. Despite differences in the symptoms of bipolar disorder in teens and children compared to adults, many who are diagnosed with certain kinds of pediatric bipolar disorder continue to have those symptoms as adults. Symptoms of bipolar disorder in women tend to include more depression and anxiety and a rapid cycling pattern compared to symptoms in men.
Although a major depressive episode is not required for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, such episodes often alternate with manic episodes. In fact, persistent sadness occurs more often than mania in many people with bipolar disorder. Characteristics of depressive episodes include a number of the following symptoms: persistently depressed or irritable mood; decreased interest in previously pleasurable activities; change or problems in appetite, weight, or sleep; agitation or lack of activity; fatigue; feelings of worthlessness; trouble concentrating; thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts, plans, or actions.
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