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Bipolar Disorder Specialist

O.C. Child and Family

Harry B. Rauch, MD

Board-Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist located in Irvine, CA

If your child goes through extreme mood swings and you notice major changes in their behavior, they may have a condition known as bipolar disorder. At his Irvine, California, psychiatric practice, Harry B. Rauch, MD, offers comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and treatment of bipolar disorder in children. He can assess your child’s behavioral changes and rule out underlying conditions that may be interfering with their success at school, at home, and in their relationships. Find out more about available treatments for bipolar disorder by calling the office directly or using the online booking feature.

Bipolar Disorder

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition, sometimes known as manic-depressive illness, that causes episodes of both major depression (lows) and manic energy (highs).  

Children with this condition often experience unusual changes in mood that go beyond the typical ups and downs of life that other children go through.

The symptoms of bipolar disorder can interfere with your child’s academic success, personal relationships, and other activities. In some cases, symptoms can result in thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

The mood changes in children with bipolar disorder can vary from day-to-day. For Dr. Rauch to consider a bipolar diagnosis, mood changes and symptoms of depression must last for a week or longer and be disruptive to your child’s life.

Manic symptoms often involve feelings of extreme happiness or silliness, difficulty sleeping, speaking quickly about a variety of things, and involvement in risky behaviors.

Depressive episodes of bipolar disorder can result in feelings of unexplained sadness, complaints about headaches or stomach problems, feelings of guilt, changes in appetite, and no interest or energy in daily activities.

How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?

Dr. Rauch is highly experienced in diagnosing bipolar disorder in children. He initially reviews your child’s medical history to rule out underlying medical conditions. You also need to provide history on your family, especially if bipolar disorder affects other family members.

To better understand your child’s symptoms, Dr. Rauch discusses your child’s behavior and the changes you notice at home. He may ask to speak with your child’s teachers and other caregivers to evaluate the severity of the symptoms.

What treatment options are available for bipolar disorder?

Depending on your child’s individual needs, Dr. Rauch may recommend one or more treatment methods to better manage symptoms and help your child feel better.

Therapy can help your child learn coping skills to deal with manic and depressive episodes. Dr. Rauch also offers family counseling sessions to help build a support team for your child.

In some cases, medications may be useful in controlling symptoms, such as negative or suicidal thoughts. Dr. Rauch carefully monitors your child’s medication therapy to protect their physical and mental health in the long term. It can take several changes to the type of medication and the dosage until Dr. Rauch discovers the right course of treatment for your child.

If you have concerns that your child suffers from bipolar disorder, schedule a consultation online or by calling the Irvine office directly.