8 doctors weighed in:
How is bipolar disorder different in teens and children compared to adults?
8 doctors weighed in

Dr. William Holmes
Pediatrics - Psychiatry
5 doctors agree
In brief: Good Question
The whole issue of bipolar disorder in children is controversial, mostly because what we call bipolar disorder in children tends to look different than with adults.
Chidlren with bipolar disorder tend to be more irritable, and their moods tend to be more fluctuating or mixed. There are not usually the clear cycles of mania and depression that occur more with teens and adults.

In brief: Good Question
The whole issue of bipolar disorder in children is controversial, mostly because what we call bipolar disorder in children tends to look different than with adults.
Chidlren with bipolar disorder tend to be more irritable, and their moods tend to be more fluctuating or mixed. There are not usually the clear cycles of mania and depression that occur more with teens and adults.
Dr. William Holmes
Dr. William Holmes
Thank
Dr. Matthew Keener
Pediatrics - Psychiatry
2 doctors agree
In brief: Greater intensity
Children and teens with bipolar disorder tend to experience more extreme symptoms as compared to adults.
They can experience very fast mood swings, even within just one day, although one should still keep in min that bipolar disorder is not just mood swings. They're also more likely to experience mixed-mood states where they feel both intensely energetic and also unhappy and irritable.

In brief: Greater intensity
Children and teens with bipolar disorder tend to experience more extreme symptoms as compared to adults.
They can experience very fast mood swings, even within just one day, although one should still keep in min that bipolar disorder is not just mood swings. They're also more likely to experience mixed-mood states where they feel both intensely energetic and also unhappy and irritable.
Dr. Matthew Keener
Dr. Matthew Keener
Thank
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