About Manic Depression in Teens


Manic depression – also commonly referred to as bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness – is a mental illness that causes extreme shifts in mood and behavior typically referred to as "mood episodes."

Like other forms of depression, manic depression can develop in teenage children, and it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms so that a proper diagnosis and treatment can occur.

Types of Mood Episodes

Mood episodes seen in manic depression are referred to as "manic" and "depressive."

A manic episode is when a person is in an overly happy, euphoric or elated state for a period of time. A depressive episode occurs when a person is overly sad or depressed for a period of time. Sometimes a mood episode can be mixed where there are episodes of manic and depressive. All of these types of mood episodes severely interrupt a person’s life, making it hard to function normally.

Manic episodes can be different in teens and children as compared to adults. Children are more likely to prone to destructive outbursts than to be elated or euphoric. When suffering from a depressive episode, teens and adolescents may complain of stomachaches, headaches and/or tiredness. They also may isolate themselves socially from other children and perform poorly in school.

Facts About Teen Manic Depression

Following are some facts about manic depression, or bipolar disorder, in young children or teenagers:

  • • Manic depression or bipolar disorder is more likely to affect children that have a mother or father with the disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
  • • When one parent suffers from bipolar disorder, a child is 15 to 30 percent more likely to develop the condition.
  • • If both parents have the disorder, the risk of developing bipolar disorder increases to approximately 50 to 75 percent in a child.
  • • Recent research also indicates that manic depression may be equally as common in adults as it is among adolescents. One study by the National Institute of Mental Health indicated that one percent of teens between the ages of 14 to 18 years old meet the criteria for bipolar disorder.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health


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