Is it Bipolar or Terrible Twos?

by kelly
(greenwood sc)


My son will be 22 months February 6th and all he does since he was about 5 months old is scream and cry. He doesn’t want anything. The other day he was just screaming and crying then out of nowhere started laughing. So I tried playing around with him and he started crying again he throws fits all the time screaming, kicking, hitting , and sometimes tries to bite people.

I’m also having a hard time teaching him like his body parts, animal sounds, some shapes, colors etc. He doesn’t want anything to do with it.

When he gets in to a fit I try giving him toys to play with or anything and he just throws them. He hates being cuddled or anything near his face. He wants to be held then he doesn’t, then he does then he doesn’t. He hits his head off of hard objects and just cries or smacks himself in the head and face. Sometimes cries sometimes laughs when I say something to the doctor they think it’ s just him throwing a fit or he wants attention. He gets plenty of attention that half the time he doesn’t want it. They don’t really see how he acts because when he goes to the doctors he’s happy and playful.


Hi Michelle.

Children develop at their own pace. It’s hard to know exactly when children will be able to sort shapes and colors. It is normal to begin to sort by age two, but your child is not quite two.One thing that certainly sounds true from your description

is that he is having trouble communicating. This is somewhat normal for children at age two because they don’t have command of the English language in the way that they would like. You don’t talk much about his speech but that might play a role. Difficulty with speech that could be causing some of his frustration. Children by 24 months most often can use simple phrases and 2-4 word sentences. IF he isn’t at that point he may be frustrated by his lack of ability to ask for what he needs or tell you how he feels.

Some defiance and separation anxiety are both common in two year olds. SO at times it can look like their behavior is alternating between rejecting behavior and wanting to be held. This comes from testing out some of their independence and beginning to develop a separate identity from their mother.

I am concerned when you say “ all he does is scream and cry” and that he has harmed himself often by banging his head or smacking himself. When you say doctors, I’m assuming you mean a pediatrician. I would suggest strongly that you a see a psychologist or social work r who is a therapist to help you with figuring out if this behavior is or is not normal.

You don't mention anything about your family history and nothing specifically about the behavior suggests bipolar to me, although certainly toddlers who are bipolar may have some of the symptoms of your son.

It would be important, if you have that concern, to have him evaluated by a specialist.

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