Bipolar Disorder usually starts in adult life. Although less common, it does occur in teenagers and even rarely in young children. This illness can affect anyone. However, if one or both parents have Bipolar Disorder, the chances are greater that their children will develop the disorder. Family history of drug or alcohol abuse also may be associated with Bipolar Disorder in teens.
Mental illnesses in parents represent a risk for children in the family. These children have a higher risk for developing mental illnesses than other children. When both parents are mentally ill, the chance is even greater that the child might become mentally ill.
A tic is a problem in which a part of the body moves repeatedly, quickly, suddenly and uncontrollably. Tics can occur in any body part, such as the face, shoulders, hands or legs. They can be stopped voluntarily for brief periods. Sounds that are made involuntarily (such as throat clearing) are called vocal tics. Most tics are mild and hardly noticeable. However, in some cases they are frequent and severe, and can affect many areas of a child’s life.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), usually begins in adolescence or young adulthood and is seen in as many as 1 in 200 children and adolescents. OCD is characterized by recurrent obsessions and/or compulsions that are intense enough to cause severe discomfort. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are unwanted and cause marked anxiety or distress.
Asperger’s Disorder is the term for a specific type of pervasive developmental disorder which is characterized by problems in development of social skills and behavior. In the past, many children with Asperger’s Disorder were diagnosed as having autism, another of the pervasive developmental disorders, or other disorders.
Autism is usually identified by the time a child is 30 months old and always by three years of age. It is often discovered when parents become concerned that their child may be deaf, is not yet talking, resists cuddling, and avoids interaction with others.
Suicides among young people nationwide have increased dramatically in recent years. Each year in the U.S., thousands of teenagers commit suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-24-year-olds, and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-to-14-year-olds.
Not only adults become depressed. Children and teenagers also may have depression, which is a treatable illness. Depression is defined as an illness when the feelings of depression persist and interfere with a child or adolescent?s ability to function.