Symptoms of bipolar disorder differ in people of different ages. Bipolar children and adolescents have symptoms more continuously than adults. Children's symptoms are more varied and may include emotional difficulties or disruptive behaviors that are frequent or severe enough to interfere with academic or social activities.

Examples: Irritability, depression, anxiety, aggression, impulsive behavior.

Bipolar adults exhibit less obvious manifestations of impulsive behavior, such as excessive spending or traveling.

Helpful for diagnosis: If a parent has bipolar disorder and a child displays symptoms or has been diagnosed with a disruptive behavioral disorder such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD), the child may be bipolar.

Important: Mood and anxiety disorders and substance abuse often occur together.

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