Mood disorders in children and adolescents are often severe and liable to cause significant morbidity and mortality [42,43]. For several years childhood depression was underdiagnosed, but today we are better able to identify and diagnose it in early childhood. Mania is undergoing the same process today. In certain cases, what was defined as ADHD or behaviour disorder turns out to be a ''covert mania''. In follow-up studies of ADHD and disruptive behaviours, a high frequency of mood disorders (including bipolar disorder) has been observed, which were diagnosed at a later stage in the child's life. Therefore, the greater our ability to refine the clinical criteria of mania in children and develop suitable scales, the better will we be able to identify maniform conditions at a younger age and differentiate them from ADHD and behaviour disorders. However, bipolar disorder, ADHD, disruptive behaviours and drug abuse are also likely to co-occur in the same subjects . These subjects are also more likely to undergo traumas and fulfil criteria for PTSD.
Estimates regarding the prevalence of major depression in children and adolescents range between 4%  and 25% . Mania is a much rarer disorder: less than 1% of children and adolescents suffer from manic symptoms. The appearance of depression or mania is more frequent in adolescents than in children. In children, the prevalence of major depression is equal in males and females, whereas in adolescence this ratio changes to 2:1 in favour of girls. The prevalence of bipolar disorder is identical for both sexes at all ages.
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