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Doctor insights on: What Age Group Is Most Likely To Be Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

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At how young of an age can somebody be diagnosed with bipolar disorder?

At how young of an age can somebody be diagnosed with bipolar disorder?

No minimum: Officially, there is no minimum age for bipolar d/o. In the past 25 yrs of practicing medicine-i have seen over 18, 000 kids. Out of those, I have had 3 patients who were four years old who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder. All three had a very strong history from both sides of the family. ...Read more

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Dr. Alan Ali
1,717 doctors shared insights

Bipolar Disorder (Definition)

Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that in its most severe form causes dramatic shifts in mood, from mania to depression. Symptoms of mania include markedly elevated mood and energy, reduced sleep and a reduced need for sleep, racing thoughts, and grandiose ideas. When mood changes are severe, psychotic ideation may be present. Symptoms of depression can include low energy, feeling sad, feelings of guilt and hopelessness that are out of proportion to the patient's actual situation, low motivation, inability to experience pleasure, and suicidal ideation. Sleep may be increased, and concentration may be impaired. Some manic patients may be extremely irritable rather than euphoric. Less severe but clearly abnormal mood ...Read more


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How can one diagnose bipolar disorder?

How can one diagnose bipolar disorder?

Psychiatric Eval: By undergoing a psychiatric eval that rules out other psychiatric and medical conditions that could mimic bipolar disorder. ...Read more

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Can they diagnose teenagers with bipolar disorder?

Can they diagnose teenagers with bipolar disorder?

Yes: Teenagers with bipolar disorder have an ongoing combination of extremely high (manic) and low (depressed) moods. Highs may alternate with lows, or the person may feel both extremes at close to the same time. Bipolar disorder usually starts in adult life, before the age of 35. Although rare in young children, it does occur in teenagers. This illness can affect anyone. However, if one or both parent. ...Read more

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At what age could someone possibly get bipolar disorder?

At what age could someone possibly get bipolar disorder?

Early Adulthood: In an epidemiological study of major depression and bipolar disorder, weissman et. Al., 1996, reported a first onset at an average age of 6-years. The mean age onset ranges between 24.8 years and 34.8 years. ...Read more

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Why is it difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder in children?

Why is it difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder in children?

One reason is that: BP disorder in children usually first looks like ADHD, which in my opinion is on the more mild end of the same spectrum. Three questions need to be asked to differentially diagnose ADHD from BP. They have to do with focus when mood is normal, being disorganized only when mood is abnormal, and emotional dysregulation (can't stop the mood in a timely manner). You need a prof. to do this well. ...Read more

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Does bipolar disorder gets better over time or age progresses?

Does bipolar disorder gets better over time or age progresses?

Depends on course: Untreated bipolar disorder can worsen with time. Although not curative, current treatments aims at reducing the risk of this. ...Read more

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My sister says she has bipolar disorder. Are family members more likely to get the same thing?

Increased Risk: There is an increased risk among close family members if someone has bipolar disorder. However, this is not an automatic result. ...Read more

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If one child in a family has bipolar disorder, how likely is it that another child will get it too?

If one child in a family has bipolar disorder, how likely is it that another child will get it too?

Higher risk: A study in the lancet (2009) showed that if sibling a has bipolar, the sibling b is 8 times more likely to develop bipolar disorder. Other studies place the relative risk range between 7 and 10 times. This translates to a 5-20% risk. ...Read more

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Do you simply ask certain questions to diagnose someone with a bipolar disorder. Are there any medical tests or something to test this?

Do you simply ask certain questions to diagnose someone with a bipolar disorder. Are there any medical tests or something to test this?

Diagnosis of: Bipolar disorder, as with other psychiatric conditions, involves an evaluation by a skilled clinician who conducts a history of person's current & past symptoms (psychiatric & medical), life experiences, family history, & assesses current mental functioning (mental status exam), & considers various criteria (symptom guidelines) in arriving at possible diagnoses. See comment below for more details. ...Read more

Dr. Donald Jacobson
737 doctors shared insights

Manic Depressive Disorder (Definition)

Though depression is not required for diagnosis most people have both manic and depressive episodes and may have mixed episodes with features of both. Length of episodes vary, but are separated by "normal" periods of emotion and behavior. See my answers to similar ...Read more