Question: Can mania be dangerous, and how can I tell when my child's thoughts (of self-harm, etc.) are serious enough to get emergency help?
Answer: Well I think the place to begin with is just like any other symptoms. Certainly there are various symptoms and stages of mania, of varying severity just as there are of depression.
And both mania and depression can occur by themselves or in combination. And that they're more severe rates of impairment is actually where the risk of self harm is greatest.
And certainly, again, it's vital to have good working relationships with people who know the youngster well as well as clinicians so that if a youngster is having a hard time, that in fact these things can be brought to clinician's attention.
Certainly these are very difficult assessments to make and often times parents feel that they are left alone with the burden themselves. And it really shouldn't be left to the parents themselves. If in doubt, these things really do need to be discussed with somebody who can help the parents and the youngster negotiate these very scary and unfortunately potentially lethal conditions.