- There are a significant number of other conditions whose symptoms overlap with bipolar disorder, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, depressive disorders and learning disabilities;
- The span of time in a young life is insufficient to establish a course of illness (Papolos, 2006);
- Many symptoms are different from those found in adults with bipolar disorder (see Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Children);
- Episodes are much shorter than for adults, spanning only days or even hours;
- Developmental factors are in full play – “a child's often nonstop motion, lack of impulse control, difficulty tolerating frustration, and vivid imagination are part of a typical, everyday picture” (Papolos, 2006).
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Source: Papolos, J. & Papolos, D.F. (2006, November). Why is it so difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder in children? The Bipolar Child Newsletter, 23.
Papolos, J. & Papolos, D.F. (2006, November). Why is it so difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder in children? The Bipolar Child Newsletter, 23.