Joanne Gallacher
By Joanne Gallacher

Paediatric Bipolar Disorder affecting young children

Childhood mental disorders on the rise

paediatric-bipolar-disorder-150×140.jpgPaediatric Bipolar Disorder (PBD) is a chronic brain disorder which is characterised by impairing changes in mood, thinking, energy and behaviour. From 1994 to 2003 (PBD) increased by 4000%.

The symptoms may progress gradually or suddenly during childhood. The characteristics of the disorder can affect children in different ways, there are often differences in the intensity or frequency of the symptoms and treatment of the condition will vary from child to child.

Symptoms of the illness include, recurring depression, lack of interest in playing, talking about death, irritability, risky behaviour, trouble sleeping, hallucinations and compulsive creativity are some of the symptoms found in children who have PBD.

Family history can be an indicator in this condition, if one parent has the disorder the chance of the child having it increases between 15%-30%. If both parents have the condition the child is 50%-75% more likely to have the condition. Therapy and medication are the most used treatment to help the disorder. Although, the long-term effects of taking medication are weight gain, metabolic problems, repetitive muscle movement and diabetes in some patients.

However, 80% of the drugs used to treat PBD are dispensed in America. Opponents who find it hard to believe that so many children have been diagnosed with PBD think children's diet should be examined and ruled out first before the go-ahead of PBD analysis. They believe environmental toxins and sugary diets are to blame for some children's behaviour.

More research into PBD is needed; perhaps we should be looking into the reasons why the illness has increased so much. But whatever the reason the seriousness of PBD should not be underestimated.

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