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Bipolar Disorder in Children

Updated on December 8, 2012

As I watched a video, I learned about a child named Jacob that was diagnosed with ADHD and was prescribed Ritalin. He was given more and more medication. As he was given more and more medication, he was diagnosed with having a more aggressive behavior. As this happened, as he was growing older and older, he was diagnosed with a mood disorder. The doctors started giving him more and more medication. As a result of this, he was hospitalized. Eventually, the doctors diagnosed him with bipolar disorder. Since, this has happened more frequently in society, the question stands does bipolar disorder really exist.

My personal opinion is that bipolar disorder does not exist. I feel that the exponential amount of medicine that the doctors give children causes mood swings and aggressive behavior. I also feel that a child’s environment and upbringing also has a lot to do with the way that they behave. I think that the doctors should not be giving young children these medications. I feel that a child’s brain is not fully developed yet and that the medication is making the situation worse. The side effects of the medication can greatly damage a child by excessive eating, and drooling. Also, I think the side effects could even possibly hender a child’s speech, behavior, and physical development as they are growing up. A child can experience depression and anger. In the video, Jacob’s parents speak about how there weren’t alternate solutions to Jacob’s behavior. I think the fact that there aren’t alternate solutions is not a good thing. The fact that these two year olds and four year olds are being diagnosed as having bipolar disorder is absolutely ridiculous. I feel that maybe even the doctors are trying to say this, in order to try to help the young but also by making some sort of income. These doctors are making a lot of money by telling someone that they are ill or unstable and prescribing medicine as necessary.

I strongly disbelieve in the fact that these medicines should be prescribed to these young children. I think that these children should be given alternative treatments such as therapy. The fact that these doctors are diagnosing these children as if they are adults is absolutely ridiculous. These doctors are acting as if these children are adults that are psychotic or have mental deficiency. I think that these medications should no longer be prescribed to these children. I think that these doctors are wrong in diagnosing these children at such a young age. I feel that there should be an age limit maybe even the age of 18 before a doctor necessarily diagnoses a child as having something such as ADHD, ADD, or bipolar disorder. Even at the age of 17 with parent consent I would consider the minimal age for a child to be diagnosed with such a disorder. The fact that these doctors continue to prescribe these medicines that causes ticks, nausea, and alternative moods is truly effecting each and every child that is diagnosed. The fact that a four year old was even diagnosed is just so absurd to me and I feel that these doctors need to reevaluate what the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder actually are. The doctors should allow these children to become of a necessary age before they are diagnosed and they should only be allowed to monitor the children as they grow older.

In my opinion, there are alternative treatments for these children other than automatically prescribing them strong doses of medication such as Ritalin. An alternative method to a child acting abnormal, should be to let them be more creative in writing, drawing, or necessarily just being a child. I’m saying that these children should be allowed to expressed themselves, in order to help with their behavior. Another alternative treatment would be to try therapy for these children. I feel that if a child is allowed to speak about how they feel and why they act the way that they act, then the problems that they have may be solve. Also, a child could also speak with their parents on why they are acting the way they are acting and why they are being aggressive towards objects or other people. The communication that the child has with his parent might allow them to behave in a more sutible manner. Even the environment might have an effect on a child and the way that they act. The environment such as being around other kids that are acting in an aggressive way or watching a show that shows violence. I think that a child’s environment should be limited to only watching certain shows that doesn’t show violence or interacting with kids that are showing aggressive behavior.

In conclusion, as I watched the video about the children I learned a lot about the medicine that these children are prescribed and how they are being diagnosed. The fact that a five year old was diagnosed as having adult signs and symptoms was just unbelievable. I believe that these doctors may even be misdiagnosing these children. I think that these children that are experiencing adult like signs and symptoms should be diagnosed with something other than ADHD and bipolar disorder. As I said before, I think that these certain children should only be monitored and should not be given medicine right away. The medication may be too strong for a child and could possibly backfire for the symptoms of the child to become worse than they were before. Overall, I think that bipolar disorder does not exist in small child, I do however think that bipolar disorder may exist in adults. I think this way because I believe that as you grow, your brain matures, and you began to think, smell, see, taste, and act differently than you were before. These children should not be given these medications because they are young and still growing. In the video, the side effects of being given these medications can include overeating, drooling, ticks, more aggressive behavior, speech impediment, and mental problems. These side effects are worse than what these children are being diagnosed with. The fact that these doctors are not considering alternative treatments is ridiculous. These doctors should try therapy or there should be communication between the child, their parents, and even the doctors if necessary. The environment of the child should also be closely monitored and should be considered a factor of a child’s behavior, before any diagnosis or medication is made.


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    • alisharenee profile image

      alisharenee 5 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      This is a great article. I work in child welfare and too often I work with families who have numerous children who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD or bipolar. I think that there is an over diagnosis of both of these among children. Most of the parents I work with have parenting issues, so as a result the children's behaviors are "off" which seems to automatically point to a diagnosis of ADHD or some other mental health disorder. To be honest I believe that most of the way these children act is a direct result of their environment and yet we still continue to see an increase in meds for children. I wonder if anyone has ever thought about what these meds are doing to a child's developing brain...seems like a logical question that should be addressed. Again, great article!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago

      yes sometimes medication can be used to help guide the children but on the other hand there are times when the doctors prescribes more medication and higher dosages instead of necessarily find out the root of why the child are behaving that way and prescribing a specialist instead if they are unable to diagnosis the children in that specialy field.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I believe that sometimes medication is used instead of time and guidance. I work with ESE middle school children who state that they don't like taking their medicine - it makes them feel not like themselves. I believe that some of them are better off without it.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago

      thank you jantamaya for your comment and yes i believe that these children need some light discipline, some guidance, and mostly someone to communicate with about their feelings

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Torrilynn, I think you are right. I think it would be better spending more of our time with the children, give them love and loving attentiveness instead of psychostimulants. ??? In today's world we probably don't have enough time, and compensate it with giving them psycho drugs.

      Wikipedia says about the ADHD, "affecting about 3 to 5 percent of children globally and diagnosed in about 2 to 16 percent of school-aged children." When ADHD affects 3-5 percent of all children, WHY it's diagnosed by 2-16 (!) percent??? Given that the numbers are correct, it would appear that around eleven percent of the children are misdiagnosed!

      I think, your article is particularly interesting and may initiate an inspiring discussion about this topic.