Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts in the other direction, you may feel euphoric and full of energy. Mood shifts may occur only a few times a year or as often as several times a week. There are several types of bipolar and related disorders. For each type, the exact symptoms can vary from person to person. In children and teens, symptoms can be difficult to identify, as it is often hard to tell whether these are normal ups and downs, the results of stress or trauma, or signs of a mental health problem other than bipolar disorder. The most prominent signs of bipolar disorder in children and teenagers may include severe mood swings that are different from their usual mood swings. Although the disorder is a disruptive, long-term condition, you can keep your moods in check by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder can be controlled with medications and psychological counseling.
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