childhood bipolar

Childhood Bipolar Disorder, Deconstructed

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Diagnosing children with juvenile or pediatric bipolar disorder is largely an American phenomenon. Do we actually have more “bipolar” children in the United States—or are we simply labeling more of them as such? If it is ever fair to call a child “manic,” isn’t the child’s environment the direction in which we should look?

I Want Change

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Only two hours after we got home, Dan fearlessly told me of the suicide plan that he'd devised while in the hospital. He had all that time to think about it while nobody was listening. He'd lost his dignity, his identity and his place in society. He had lost the will to live.

Valproate Linked to Decreased Brain Volume in Children Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

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Researchers find that valproate decreases brain volume in a region associated with emotion processing across all participants.

Antidepressant-Induced Mania

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It is generally recognized in antipsychiatry circles that antidepressant drugs induce manic or hypomanic episodes in some of the individuals who take them. Psychiatry's usual response to this is to assert that the individual must have had an underlying latent bipolar disorder that has "emerged" in response to the improvement in mood. The problem with such a notion is that it is fundamentally unverifiable.

Anticonvulsant Implicated in Birth Defects in up to 4,100 Children, French Study Finds

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Between 2,150 and 4,100 children suffered from severe malformations connected to valproate prescription.

“Antipsychotic Use in Youth Without Psychosis: A Double-edged Sword”

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This month’s issue of JAMA Psychiatry ran an editorial commenting on recent research revealing that the majority of youth prescribed antipsychotics have not been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Emotional Child Abuse Just as Harmful as Physical Abuse

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Different types of child abuse have equivalent psychological effects, according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry. It has previously been assumed that emotional and verbal abuse could have different or less harmful impact on a child’s psychology than physical or sexual abuse, but research now suggests that these forms of abuse can be just as damaging.

Does DSM-5 Matter? Yes; but not for Psychiatrists

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What makes the DSM so pernicious is that it is a cultural document whose influence transcends not only psychiatric practice but also the Western civilization from which it originates. Each revision of the DSM rescripts and reimagines how we make sense of our experiences, reinterprets what thoughts, feelings and behaviors are socially sanctioned, and ultimately what it means to be human.

Study Explores Māori Community’s Multifaceted Understanding of “Psychosis”

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A new study explores how “psychosis” and “schizophrenia” are viewed within the Māori community in New Zealand.

45% of Children and Adolescent Inpatients Prescribed Antipsychotics

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In a rare long-term study of antipsychotics used in children and adolescent inpatients, the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT followed 3,851 consecutive admissions...

Making the Case Against Antidepressants in Parliament

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On Wednesday, May 11, there will be an inquiry by a work group in the U.K.’s Parliament into whether increases in the prescribing of antidepressants are fueling a marked increase in disability due to anxiety and depression in the U.K. I wrote about a similar rise in disability in the United States in Anatomy of an Epidemic, and the All Party Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence, which is the Parliamentary group that organized the debate, asked me to present the case against antidepressants.

Minimal Evidence for Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder in Childhood

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Researchers offer a critical take on the inclusion of the Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder in the DSM-V.

Bright Light Therapy More Effective Than Medication Alone for Bipolar Depression

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A new randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial has found bright light therapy to be a powerful intervention that could provide an alternative to medication for people with “bipolar depression.”

Antidepressants Associated with Increased Risk for Manic Symptoms

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An analysis of medical records in the UK reveals that the use of certain antidepressants for depression is linked to a heightened risk for mania and bipolar disorder. The research, published this week in BMJ Open, found the strongest effect for serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the antidepressant venlafaxine.
sad girl

To Make Adolescence Permanent, Just Label it “Bipolar Disorder”

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When parents accept the bipolar label, something seems to click in their minds, and it’s in this instant that their kid’s life is forever ruined. Now they retrospectively view all the turmoil that began in puberty as due to permanent brain illness rather than normal, outgrowable adolescent issues.

Researchers Call for Reappraisal of Adverse Mental Effects of Antipsychotics, NIDS

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In a study published yesterday, researchers from the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo bring attention to a condition known as neuroleptic-induced deficit syndrome (NIDS)...

Daughter of a Psychiatrist

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Here I was, 15 years old and already in a long-term treatment facility. I was, on paper: crazy! This entire time, all the adults in my life had been speaking for me. I never felt like I was any of the things they said, but I went along with it. What else could I have done? Every time I rebelled, it only confirmed to my mother what she thought of me.

Will Psychiatry’s Harmful Treatment of Our Children Bring About Its Eventual Demise?

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The safety of our children is a sacred obligation we strive to preserve. Anything or anyone that harms them becomes the object of our...

Neuroleptics for Children: Harvard’s Shame

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Thirty years ago, the prescription of neuroleptic drugs to children under 14 years of age was almost unheard of. It was rare in adolescents, and even in adults was largely confined to individuals who had been given the label schizophrenic or bipolar. By 1993 about a quarter of 1% of the national childhood population were receiving antipsychotic prescriptions during office visits. The percentage for adolescents was about three quarters of 1%. By 2009, these figures had increased to 1.83% and 3.76% respectively. The devastating effects of these neurotoxic drugs are well known, and it is natural to wonder what forces might be driving this trend.

Study Explores Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence in College Women with Disabilities

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A new study explores sexual violence and intimate partner violence in college women with mental health related disabilities.

Off-Label Antipsychotic Use Among Children Soaring

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Researchers from Philadelphia and Baltimore find, in a study of Medicaid records for 50 states and the District of Columbia, that antipsychotic prescribing to...

Experts Decry Dangerous Use of Antipsychotics in Children

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In a featured article for Psychiatric Services, psychiatrists from Dartmouth raise the alarm on the increasing numbers of children prescribed dangerous antipsychotic drugs. Despite the fact that data on the safety of long-term use of these drugs in this vulnerable population “do not exist,” the rate of children and adolescents being prescribed antipsychotic drugs have continued to increase over the past fifteen years.

Study Connects Environmental Risk Factors and Psychosis

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A meta-analysis of known risk factors for psychosis finds elevated risk with the presence of childhood trauma, adverse life events, and affective dysfunction.

ï»żHypotheses, Scientific Evidence, and On Being Compared to an AIDS Denier

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In today’s Boston Globe (April 14), Dr. Dennis Rosen, a pediatric lung and sleep specialist at Children’s Hospital in Boston, reviews my new book,...

Experts Stress Importance of Social Networks for Psychosis and Bipolar Interventions

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Researchers develop a novel approach to mapping personal well-being networks for those diagnosed with severe mental illness (SMI) that incorporates social ties, connections to place, and meaningful activities.