Children feel the effects of this mental illness just as much as adults do. Although doctors are sometimes unwilling to diagnose children as young as 8 with depression, it can still exist, and if undiagnosed, it can be as dangerous to a child as an adult.
In one case, a 8 year old boy was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and was put on stimulants. Soon after, the child -whose parents both have bipolar disorder- became very agitated and hanged himself.
The backround information tells us that depression can be almost hereditary, and therefore, the child may have been underdiagnosed, and may have had bipolar as well.
Bipolar disorder is more likely to affect the children of parents who have the disorder. When one parent has bipolar disorder, the risk to each child is estimated to be l5-30%. When both parents have bipolar disorder, the risk increases to 50-75%.