Bipolar, AKA Unipolar Mania

Kermit Cole

Teens may have mania without depression, making their bipolar illness harder to classify, according to a new NIMH study. Interviews with 10,213 teens found that 2.5 percent met criteria for bipolar disorder, a rate similar to that of adults, but 1.7 percent had mania only without the depression.

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Related Items:
Bipolar Teens may Have Mania but no Depression

Note from Kermit Cole, “In the News” editor:

The authors suggest in the “implications” section: “In fact, the lack of evidence of mania alone in clinical samples of both youth and adults could be attributable to the high frequency of behavioral disturbances that emerge as a consequence of mania that may obfuscate the core manifestations of mania. Follow-up of this sample is critical to distinguish characteristics of youth with transient manic episodes from those for whom mania signals early manifestations of recurrent mood disturbances including bipolar disorder and its lifelong consequences.”


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

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  1. Labeled ‘maniacs’ only huh? without the depression yet? Well rest assured psychiatry, once you strip these innocent teens of their dignity and drug them for years and let them carry the stigma of an ‘SMI’ label, they’ll sure be depressed, and then you’ll have ‘proved’ they got depressed and ‘manic’ won’t you?

    I pity these 10,000 teens. For they know not what quackery they have come into contact with.

  2. This is nothing but gobbledegook, plain and simple. No one is safe from the quacks anymore; kids can’t even be kids without being labeled bi-polar without the depression! How does any self-respcting, intelligent, discriminating woman or man ever read something like this without laughing themselves silly? Snake oil and flim-flam chichanery in its best form! The biopsychiatrist quacks and drug reps are better than any carnival sideshow shills. Where is their self-respect when they lower themselves to publish this kind of tripe? How do they ever look themselves in the eyes when they peer into the mirror every morning? How can they walk down the street with their heads up, knowing what they are trying to do to healthy people?

  3. I had brain surgery in 1991. They removed a tumor from my right frontal lobe. Basically a lobotomy. Within the week that followed I began to feel depressed to the point of feeling suicidal. I went back to my neurologist who simply said, “Oh that’s just post operative depression. Hang in there… the symptom will disappear shortly.” Two days later I had my first suicide attempt. Within the next month I had 2 other suicide attempts. Didn’t he know that removing the right frontal lobe would cause me to develop a psychiatric imbalance? The right frontal lobe of the brain is the part of the brain that produces all the good hormones such as serotonin, endorphins, and the like. I was suffering from a chemical imbalance due to the surgery. What he ended up doing was admit me to the psych ward of the hospital to figure out why I was so depressed. It wasn’t until they introduced Lithium that I had a positive response. They immediately labelled me as bi-polar. I was released within a week and put under the care of a great psychiatrist who saw me on a weekly basis. She eventually got me on the right cocktail of medications to stabilize my mood. I don’t suffer from depression any more. All I have to deal with is the mania and the insomnia. At the present time I think I am over medicated. My psychiatrist has since retired and I am under the wing of a much younger psychiatrist who just wants to keep adding or increasing my medication. I plan on going to my GP to get a referral to a different psychiatrist. The one I have now is not experienced enough. I hate being so over medicated. I’m sure that a new psychiatrist is definitely in order at this time. I need someone who will address my issues of mania with as little medication as possible.