WEB MD article on childhood onset bipolar disorder pt two

Here is the continuation of the excellent WebMD article on childhood onset bipolar disorder. …

Definition of Childhood Bipolar Disorder Controversial

What, exactly, is childhood bipolar disorder? It’s controversial. Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression because it is characterized by bouts of depression and bouts of mania.

Mania in adults is characterized by euphoria, grandiosity, irritability, racing thoughts, and frenetic activity. While some experts argue that childhood mania must also exhibit signs of euphoria and grandiose behavior, others say irritability may be the only sign.

“In children, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are very different from the symptoms in adults,” Julio Licinio, MD, chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Miami, tells WebMD.

In January 2007, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) set out a “practice parameter” acknowledging the controversy. The AACAP’s expert panel noted that for both children and adults, doctors are much more often diagnosing bipolar disorder based on individual symptoms rather than characteristic patterns of symptoms.

The AACAP panel noted that there’s also debate over whether bipolar disorder in children is even the same illness as bipolar disease in adults. What is agreed on is that bipolar disorder is an increasingly common diagnosis in children — including preschool children.

“There was a real underdiagnosis of bipolar disorder in children. We’ve gone to the other situation now,” Licinio says. “Some of these children are just irritable and cranky and negative. They get more brittle than manic. And people can mistake juvenile delinquency for bipolar disorder. So there is a potential for this to be really missed.”

DBSA Conference in Virginia

I’m getting ready to speak at the DBSA (Depression Bipolar Support Aliance) conference in Virginia next week. Some of you have written and asked about the weather- It should not be a problem.

 As of today- my talk is one week away. I have to start thinking of my health now. This means planning ahead- well… I could do a better job of this so I really am starting NOW to get things in order. I will then start the sleep regimine I use when I change time zones! It’s three hours ahead so I will go to sleep earlier and earlier until I am exactly on Virginia time when I get there. I will do the same on the way back. It works! Do you have to travel in different time zones soon? You can read more about my travel tips in the travel section on the right menu.

I’m excited that I can travel again! julie

Bipolar and Political Stress

If you’re outside of the US, you’re certainly missing one of the most contentious and controversial political elections in a very, very long time.
 I have definitely opinions on it all- which is fine. The problem is that I’m letting my upset really work me into a frenzy. My friends and I talk about it- get mad about it- speculate on it.  I was so frustrated yesterday that I almost started crying.
 That was when I realized that the election is a trigger for me. I know, it sounds crazy! But when someone affects my sleep, that is when I have to back off. If I find myself getting too excited over something, I have to back off. I have learned this-upsetting world events are too stressful for me to jump in and get involved.
 I called my most political friend and told her I had to stop talking about the situation. I am not watching television or combing the internet for stories and pictures. And I feel better.
 Is it upsetting you? Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you arguing with anyone on the topic? It’s only going to get worse in the next two months, so take a good look at your mood…. staying stable so that you can vote is the goal!
 Julie

Well, I’m manic (or at least I was when I wrote this a few days ago!)

and I’m not happy about it.

I get euphoric mania.  Since I have bipolar II, I technically have hypomania.

It feels so good. 95% of my bipolar disorder is depression. So mania is like a dream come true- but as with all dreams, you have to wake up.

 I am upset because I’m rapid cycling. When I get hypomanic, I think- what if I were like this all of the time? Work is easy- life is easy- I don’t want to overeat- everthing looks beautiful. Why am I tortured with this utopia only to have it taken from me in a few days.

I spent many years in this confusion before I was diagnosed with bipolar disoder in 1995.

 I still have the questions, but I know the answer. I am tortured because I have bipolar disorder.

It’s an illness. I now have to go into treatment mode. I’m hypomanic as I write this- the question is what am I going to do about it?

 the answer is below……

Julie

bipolarhappens.com reader comments

I love reader comments!  Thanks to everyone who leaves a comment. I read them all. I will try to answer as many as possible. It is so important to hear other opinions than my own.  Julie

Well, I’m manic part 2

I just wrote a blog on being hypomanic.

Here is what I’m going to do about it.

1. Use the energy to get as much work done as possible. Things have been quite terrible for a month- so I can at least use this energy to get caught up as much as possible.
2. Realize that I always want to drink when I get like this. I rarely drink otherwise. So, tonight, when I see friends for karaoke, I will not have Ouzo!
3. Be home and in bed by midnight at the latest.

Get ready for the downswing.

It’s all about awareness. I created the Health Cards to help me manage this illness- they have helped me manage this mania better than any treatment I have ever known. I am thankful I can recognize this for what it is and do something about it. I refuse, absoluely refuse to make the manic mistakes of my past.

What about you? Any signs of mania? Does someone you care about show signs of mania? There are more stories and tips under the mania tab on the right. you can read more about the Health Cards at www.bipolarhappens.com

julie

PS: if your diagnosis is new- or someone you care about has just been diagnosed- it helps to read the mania, rapid cycling and bipolar one and two sections to the right!