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Prevalence of Bipolar Disorder in Children: Rare but Possible

Bipolar disorder is estimated to occur in 1to 3% of youth, the majority of whom are adolescents rather than children.1 The condition can be challenging to diagnose—it can take several years for clinicians to follow the patient and make an accurate diagnosis.

There are two types of bipolar disorder—Bipolar I and Bipolar II.

To receive a diagnosis of Bipolar I, a child must meet the criteria for a manic episode (see next slide below). They may also experience depressive episodes, but not necessarily.

To receive a diagnosis of Bipolar II, a child has experienced both hypomania (a milder form of mania) along with a major depressive episode.

Updated: Apr 1, 2021
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