Childhood bipolar disorder can frequently be misdiagnosed, as many of the behaviors in bipolar children are common among most kids. Your doctor will do the best he can to try to find the root of your child’s problems, however, no one knows your child as well as yourself. For this reason, it is best to keep a mood chart, in order to be able to self diagnose your child with bipolar.1.) Planner Purchase a pocket scheduler, which can be had for a dollar at a dollar store, or under five dollars at any drug store. Such a planner does not need to be fancy, just make sure you get a yearly one, so that you can monitor your child’s behavior over a long period of time.2.) Using The Mood Chart Bipolar disorder consists of mania, an excited state, and depression, a low state, and many different moods in between. Using a scale of 1-10, with five as normal, ten as extreme mania and one as extreme depression, write down your children’s behaviors over a set period of time. Make note of odd behaviors and moods, so that you have records for a later date. 3.) Be Consistent Keeping a schedule can be difficult, seeing as you can’t watch your child every second of every day. Try to set a goal of recording their mood every two hours. If they attend school or daycare, ask their teacher to make notes of any strange behaviors during the day.While you may be tempted to give up after a couple days, or simply forget, be persistent. If your child does have bipolar disorder, having a mood chart will allow you to see fluctuations in their mood over time, and will help your pediatrician make the right diagnosis.
Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) aims at reducing the symptoms of winter depression or the winter blues.This is a mood disorder that affects some 4% to 6% of people in the United States when days are shorter, resulting in decreased Vitamin D synthesis from reduced exposure to sunlight. Connections between human mood, energy levels and the seasons are well documented, even in healthy individuals and more so in women. For adults, the risk of suffering from SAD decreases as they get older.These normally mentally healthy individuals experience depressive symptoms in the winter, including:1. Increased appetite with a special craving for high-carbohydrate foods
2. Weight gain
4. Difficulty concentrating and processing information
5. Loss of interest in normal activities/hopelessness and depression
7. Social withdrawal
8. Potential risk of suicide, in very extreme but rare casesMany reasons have been postulated for seasonal affective disorder:1. During the winter, many people do not get enough vitamin D from sunlight. The decreased sunlight reduces the efficacy of the brain by retarding the conversion of serotonin into N-acetylserotonin which is a “good mood” enhancer.
2. Another theory is that the cause may be related to an increase in melatonin, a “sleep” enhancer, which is a chemical produced by the pineal gland in the brain, in dim light and darkness,.
3. The body’s circadian rhythm (sleep rhythm) is disturbed from shorter daylight hours and reduced sunlight.There is more than one treatment for seasonal affective disorder:1. Light therapy:Patients are exposed to the light for a specified time as a substitute for sunlight. This exposure effects a positive change, to increase serotonin conversion in the brain. This is linked to a “happier” mood.
2. Anti-depressant prescriptions or over-the-counter medications and vitamin-D supplements up to 1,000 to 2,000 IU a day.
3. A combination of light therapy, medication, and psychotherapy.
4. Daily exercise, particularly when done outdoors. Besides exercising increases the production of serotonin in the brain.
5. Eating a balanced diet.
6. A few sessions of craniosacral therapy, somato-emotional release and lymph drainage therapy.Treatment for these sometimes disabling symptoms with craniosacral therapy, somato-emotional release and lymph drainage therapy in combination, increase the efficacy of serotonin conversion in the brain. These methods have been clinically proven to be effective in establishing physical and emotional harmony, in the treatment of seasonal effective disorder.