Can bipolar disorder b reactive?

i mean, can it b caused through childhood trauma? i’m asking bcoz i think my 14yr old son may have it. he’s been highly strung to say the least since he was a toddler. one minute up, the next raging, the next tearful and sad. he’s levelled out a bit but still has rages, depression and up times. just a second ago he was in tears and then suddenly bright as a button…i’m worried about him. he hasn’t shown any psychotic features, just emotional sensitivity. i know he won’t take a tablet for it but i’d like to know all the same…what is the criteria for being diagnosed?

my sister and her second daughter have bipolar. I think it was caused by her rocky marriage, so trauma can be one of the causes, as its a form of stress which can cause an illness to start. As for the criteria, you can google bipolar and see what the diagnostic criteria are, or google bipolar quiz.

I’m sorry your son is going through this. At 14 he’s probably entering puberty and that has an effect on the brain as well. If you can, you might want to see if a gentle conversation with a professional will help untangle what is caused by puberty and what might be bipolar.

The DSM lV is on the internet, but as we all know too well, no one can diagnose from a web site.

As a side note, every time I get on those diagnosis websites, I end up thinking I have everything.

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Hi jayne - bipolar is a brain disease, it is biologically based. The best and really only treatment option after a valid diagnosis are meds. Childhood trauma or any kind of trauma can trigger episodes and make things worse
Unlike schizophrenia, bipolar is primarily a mood disorder. In order to be diagnosed with bipolar, one must display at least hypomania and depression – mania is common with those suffering from the severe form of bipolar - type 1.
In children, bipolar symptoms are a bit different than adult bipolar, in that children usually cycle from one mood to another quite rapidly and display more irritability - rapid cycling - I do hope he gets better

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Oh boy. The criteria is long and hard. I will get back to you later, I will read my DSM and give what advice I can. But just at first glace, that sounds too rapid for bipolar, it sounds like borderline personality disorder. I will read up on the details of both and get back to you tonight, (I have class and training today) but only a PhD or an MD can diagnose him, remember that.

Typically, bipolar disorder is marked my longer periods of actual mania (which is very noticeable) or hypomania (less intense but remarkably abnormal) and then periods of major depression. Not minutes- months, days, weeks, even multiple years. Raging is not what bipolar people are known best for, they are best known for mania in which they are overly productive, daring, restless, upbeat and often times promiscuous. I mean driving down the freeway at 120mph, blasting music, feeling invincible, making plans to move to Hawaii at 3am, working for 14 hours straight without stopping, that’s mania.

It also has some effect on thoughts- manic people get intrusive, slightly disorganized seeming thoughts, they often describe it as their mind being “3 steps ahead of me”.

Depression is just down in the ■■■■. I dont need to describe it, its simple.

Again, thats what I know from the top of my head, but the rapid cycle and nature of his moods sounds more like a personality disorder than bipolar disorder.

I will read over my texts and get back to you tonight. My sister has bipolar and I live with her, irritability is a thing but rage is less common. My sister gets irritable but rarely blows up like a volcano. Not to say she hasnt, she has, she enjoys it too (I often, not always have a little less empathy for bipolar people because they often enjoy mania, unless they are aware of their disorder and fight it, then I respect them deeply, but my sister has very poor insight so I do not respect her very much)

I on the other hand have schizophrenia and am making it my greatest strength by going to college for free and studying psychology, I want to continue my education into grad school and one day be an expert on schizophrenia. I think that’s more respectable than my sister, who doesn’t even take a mood stabilizer.

@mortimermouse Ultradian Cycling is a super fast form of rapid cycling - many children display these kind of symptoms. They seem to be very sensitive and moody - childhood bipolar and adulthood bipolar present themselves differently - it could be borderline, but most medical professionals do not diagnose until the child becomes an older teenager/young adult

They didnt mention Ultradian cycling in my abnormal psych class. Well he is 14 so hes too young. I do know that until someone is legally an adult, a number of disorders cannot be diagnosed due to hormone changes.

Well with Ultradian cycling in the picture, he may very well have bipolar disorder. I myself have never heard of it or come across it in actual people until now. I just read up a bit on it, it fits the bill- cycling can happen multiple times within a day.

But Wave and I are no doctors, just informed consumers, LOL.

He needs professional help. That’s really the bottom line. But to get to the point, Jaynebeal, yes he very well could have bipolar disorder. He needs medication to handle this, Ultradian cycling is not fun from what I just read. Get him into an MD’s office where he can be treated, that should be your number one priority with him after doing what you can to comfort him as a mother.

Again, my sister has bipolar disorder and she still lives at home with me. I’ve seen how disruptive it can be when untreated, trust me you do not want him to get worse. Good luck, and remember that bipolar is easier to treat than schizophrenia, he has a better prognosis than we do. I was taught that in class, that schizophrenia is the hardest disorder to treat, while lithium carbonate is quite effective for most individuals with bipolar disorder. It is a salt, he will need to live a careful lifestyle to avoid dehydration if he takes it. I know people who didnt drink enough water and quit their lithium. Make him drink a gallon a day, I drink a gallon a day as an athlete, every serious athlete does, it’s not that big of a deal.

The elite ranked lifters carry a milk jug full of water and drink it by the end of the day. He might just end up looking like a badass :wink:

Yep its sounds like childhood bipolar disorder. I checked my textbooks and there was a brief mention of it, its rare, but he sounds like he has it.

Get him to a professional.