According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) children and teens will often express depression differently than adults. The following are potential signs.
As NAMI notes, elementary children more often complain of aches and pains rather than verbally state they are depressed. Depressed teens may become aggressive, abuse drugs or alcohol, do poorly in school or run away. In contrast to outward appearances, on the inside they are often experiencing feelings of isolation, emptiness and hopelessness.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by extreme moods alternating between a very high, manic state and a low, depressive state. These mood states are called episodes and can change or cycle multiple times a day or from days to months. Occasionally, someone may experience both mania and depression which is called a mixed episode.
Often the first signs of bipolar disorder are severe moodiness, unhappiness or others symptoms of depression. The first manic episode develops next, possibly triggered by stress or trauma, but sometimes there is not a clear reason. Symptoms of bipolar disorder fall into two categories: mania and depression.
Symptoms of mania include:
Symptoms of depression include:
Children and teenagers often have early warning signs that show bipolar disorder might be developing.Children may experience severe temper tantrums when told “no.” Tantrums can last for hours while the child continues to become more violent. They may also show odds displays of happy or silly moods and behaviors.
Teenagers may experience a drop in grades or suspension from school, quit a sports team or other activity, be arrested for fighting or drug use, engage in risky sexual behavior possibly resulting in pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease, or talk about death or suicide.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
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