The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) does not describe the typical symptoms noted by researchers of pediatric bipolar disorder under bipolar I or II because there is a great deal of controversy over whether bipolar disorder exists in children. Researchers who have gathered data on children who experience irritability, mood swings, elevated moods, inattention, hyperactivity, defiance, compulsive behaviors, sadness, and sleep problems have called the condition either pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD; for children 3–12) or early-onset bipolar disorder (EOBD; for children 13–18). Students with PBD or EOBD have little control over their mood swings and irritability, calling for a combination of pharmacological and environmental interventions along with close monitoring of any side effects and evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions. Bipolar disorder in children is considered a progressive condition that manifests differently as the child ages, moving from more irritability, restlessness, and rapid mood swings to less frequent mood swings but longer depressive moods.
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