Childhood bipolar disorder

Let's stick with the mental health theme… Really interesting story on NPR last week about how the diagnosis of "childhood bipolar" disorder is going to be eliminated from the new DSM-V.  I've been intrigued by this diagnosis since I read a really interesting New Yorker story a few years back about the raging over-diagnosis of this condition.  Anyway, this NPR story, which you can read or listen to, quite nicely explained what's fundamentally wrong with this diagnosis.  Short version: adult bipolar is episodic whereas childhood bipolar seems not to be.  Also, there seems to be very little relation to children diagnosed bipolar and adults diagnosed this way.  Thus, psychiatrists have created a new, and seemingly more appropriate diagnosis: temper dysregulation disorder.  Ultimately, it will be most interesting to see how the medical treatment (bipolar disorder is treated with powerful drugs that raises many concerns when used in children) may change with this new condition.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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