Symptoms of bipolar disorder are different in children than in adults. This can lead to the condition not being diagnosed early enough in young children. In fact it is estimated up to 70% of children are diagnosed late with the disorder which has an obvious negative impact on treatment.
In Britain as recently as 2005 there were no diagnoses of bipolar disorder in children and low rates in some counties in Europe. The discrepancy has been put down to lack of appropriate screening in children.
Studies carried out in adults showed up to 60% of those with adult bipolar disorder had the condition as children but it went undiagnosed. This lack of diagnosis in people under the age of 20 years appears quite widespread.
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