Mood swings in children are not the matter of surprise or worry. It is absolutely normal as children want and need to express the way they feel.
However, kids do it in a different way and it is not always easy to decide whether this is a problem or just another whim. Mood swings start becoming a problem and represent a case for worry when a kid experiences extreme changes in mood – from depression to mania that intersect with periods of aggression and even violence.
There is a special term for such kids’ extreme changes in behavior. In medical terms it is called childhood-onset bipolar disorder, or COBPD. A kid with this disorder experiences sudden or long-term mood swings that go from low to high. During daytime these mood swings in children can come in cycles with prevailing lows in the mornings and highs in the evenings. It can be very complicated to deal with such a kid as he or she is hard to control or reason. And with these energy outbursts in the evening such kids are unwilling to be sent to bed and are very sleepy and slow in the mornings and frequently throw tantrums; which is exhausting to both parties.
All these bipolar moods have got causes. Among the most evident and frequent ones are alcoholism of parents. It is also very typical for a kid to have such a problem if similar examples can be found in family history.
Mood swings in children which are result of childhood-onset bipolar disorder have got particular symptoms that can be different in the level of intensity. Among the most characteristic ones are hyperactivity, restlessness, and also difficulties with controlling negative emotions such as anger, for instance. Anxiety is also characteristic as well as impulsiveness; a kid sleeps badly and can suddenly become very sad and upset without any particular reason.
It is only natural that such kids experience problems with learning. ADHD as well as OCD go hand in hand with childhood-onset bipolar disorder. Mood swings in children that happen due to these conditions complicate the life and communication of a moody kid a lot; and his or her parents? as well.
However, it is not obligatory that mood swings in children are the result of this or that disorder only.
- It is very important what the environment of a kid looks like when he or she is growing up.
- Nutrition is essential and so is energy.
- Physical state matters too and lack of some characteristics can also cause mood changes and so on.
- Flaws in appearance either real or imaginary can make a kid very prone to depression and mood swings. This can take even worse turn in case a kid’s peers aggravate situation by their unpleasant and jeering remarks.
- Mood disorders as well as anxiety can be inherited, as it was already mentioned. That is why frequently the reasons for mood swings in children one should seek in parents.
Healthy sleep is essential for every person and especially if it is a kid. Bad and disturbed sleep can lead to mood swings easily. This is frequently the reason why kids are so easily distracted when they need to be concentrated and why they feel irritated all the time. Besides, there are other factors, such as family problems, problems with classmates and peers and hardships at school – they can also be a reason behind mood swings in children.
The second important problem after the question, why mood swings happen, is how to deal with them.
It might be very complicated for parents to handle such a kid. In cases when the manifestation of symptoms is evident and mood swings start represent a real problem, it is recommended to apply for professional help. Mood swings cannot be exactly treated; however, they can be controlled. A child will learn how to deal with sadness and anger and also how to get into the shoes of other people and understand them. It is generally a kind of therapy based on alleviation of anxiety and depression treatment and ADHD symptoms. However, every case is individual.