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Bipolar Disorder in Children

Bipolar Disorder has long been a problem for children and their families. Part of this information is presented with the permission of Christopher Petersen, Stuart Kaplan, Amy Pattishall, Melissa Sharpe, and Augusta Czysz of The Penn State College of Medicine. The information presented at this site is for general use only and is not intended to provide personal advice or substitute for the advice of a qualified professional. If you have questions about the information presented here, please consult a physician, the resources listed or other professional in your area.

Teens Contemplate Suicide

3 million U.S. Teens Contemplate Suicide WASHINGTON (Reuters) –Three million American teens have thought seriously about or even attempted suicide, a government survey released Sunday showed. More than 13 percent of young Americans between 14 and 17 years of age considered suicide in 2000, the report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found. Only 36 percent of them had received mental health treatment or counseling, SAMHSA said. Depression is the main cause of suicide, SAMHSA administrator Charles Curie said in a statement. “We need to help teens make the link between untreated depression and the risk for suicide, and help them identify serious depression or suicide risk in a friend,” Curie said. “We must encourage teens to tell a responsible adult when a friend is at risk for suicide.” More than a third of the three million teens aged 12 to 17 who said they thought about suicide in the past 12 months actually tried it, the survey, the first of its kind ever done by SAMHSA, found. Girls were twice as likely as boys to say they thought about suicide, but race did not seem to make a difference, the report found. Nor did whether the teens lived in the city, suburbs or country. The highest rate was in the western part of the country, where 13.5 percent of children aged 12 to 17 reported having had thoughts of suicide. Copyright 2002 Reuters. All rights reserved. More information: Depression in Children and Adolescents or National Suicide Prevention...

Mania or ADHD: Assessment with CBCL

Differentiating Mania from ADHD in Prepubertal Children Using the Child Behavior Checklist Augusta Czysz   Penn State College of Medicine 2002   Background: Child Behavior Checklists (CBCL) were first published in 1978 and 1979 by Achenbach and Edelbrock. They consist of lists of 118 problem behaviors that are organized into the Internalizing scale, including anxious obsessive behaviors, somatic complaints, schizoid behaviors and depressed withdrawal behaviors; the Mixed scale, comprised of immature-hyperactive behaviors; and the Externalizing scale, which includes delinquent, aggressive and cruel behaviors. A normalized T score was assigned to each behavior using a representative sample of age-appropriate children. These scores are tallied to give a child’s behavioral profile. These profiles were found to aid in differentiation of certain problem behaviors and syndromes. The original CBCL can be found as follows. Achenbach, TM. Edelbrock, CS. The Child Behavior Profile. J Consult Clin Psychol. 46, 478-488. 1978. 47, 223-233. 1979.   Identifying Bipolar Disorder for Early Intervention: Spencer, TJ. Biederman, J. Wozniak, J. Faraone, SV. Wilens, TE. Mick, E. Parsing pediatric bipolar disorder from its associated comorbidity with the disruptive behavior disorders. Biol Psych. 49(12): 1062-1070. 2001. According to a review article by Spencer et al, children with ADHD are 10x as likely to develop bipolar disorder (BD) than age-matched and gender-matched controls so it is important to be able to identify and begin treating BD early to help prevent unnecessary social and functional impairment for the child.   Diagnosing prepubertal Bipolar Disorder vs ADHD: Geller, B. Williams, M. Zimerman, B. Frazier, J. Beringer, L. Warner, KL. Prepubertal and early adolescent bipolarity differentiate from ADHD by manic symptoms, grandiose delusions,...

Bipolar or ADHD ?

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Bipolar Disorder in Children: How do they relate?

Bipolar and Genetics

Genetic Research and Bipolar Disorder Amy Pattishall   Penn State College of Medicine 2002   Bipolar Disorder Affective disorder characterized by recurrent manic and depressive episodes. High level of psychiatric service use and morbidity. About 15% suicide rate among bipolar disorder patients. Variable age of onset, mean age of onset is 21. A great amount of anatomical, biochemical, genetic and pharmacologic data on the disorder, however no theory unifies this data. Etiology Stress-Diathesis Model Environmental Stressors: Death of a loved one Job/School setback Relationship problems Drug Use Acquired Vulnerabilities: Medical illnesses that affect well-being/brain function Psychobiological sequelae of abuse, parental loss, trauma Genetic Background   Genetics Concordance rates: Monozygotic  56-80% Dizygotic          14-25% Lifetime risk of first degree relatives 5-10% Lifetime risk of general population: 0.5-1.5% Rates are similar in males and females   Family Studies Craddock and Jones Compilation of studies which measured lifetime risk of bipolar disorder in first degree relatives of bipolar proband in which DSM IV criteria for bipolar I was used and some of the relatives were interviewed directly. Findings: Increased relative risk of Bipolar I in relatives of proband Odds Ratio of 7 First degree relatives of bipolar probands have increased risk of unipolar major depression (evidence shows 2/3-3/4 of cases may be bipolar genetically). Bipolar II disorder occurs more frequently, as does schizoaffective disorder with manic features. Lifetime risk of affective disorder increases with: Early age of onset Number of affected relatives Unknown whether risk varies according to type of relative.   Twin Studies 6 studies using the DSM IV criteria for Bipolar Disorder were pooled   Relationship to Proband            Risk of Bipolar...

Your Child Does Not Have Bipolar Disorder

Have you been told your child has bipolar disorder? Do you wonder whether your child has been correctly diagnosed? Are you reluctant to give your child medications? Do you want to understand the scientific evidence for the disorder and its treatment?

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