Friday, December 9, 2022
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
healthy mania

In Defense of Healthy Mania

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It is important to distinguish, and not simply pathologize, experiences that are manic-like because they are time-honored states of mind associated with aspiration, ambition, and goal-achievement. The need to generate boundless energy, overtalk the issues to sustain single-minded focus and motivation, and have a somewhat grandiose vision of what can be accomplished, combined, can eventuate in a manic mix of tendencies necessary to bring higher-order goals to fruition.

Hypotheses, 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,...

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.
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.

New Report Points to Gaps in the Evidence for Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

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A new report on pediatric bipolar critically examines the current evidence base and calls for more research before the diagnosis is used.

Bipolar Diagnosis Linked to Childhood Adversity

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With the ties between traumatic childhood experiences and mental health issues, should we continue to focus on biological approaches?

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)...

Psychotropic Drugs and Children

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video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player Psychotropic Drugs and Children June 15, 2010 Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic, discusses the disturbing effects of psychotropic drugs...

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.

Study Explores Meanings of Bipolar Disorder to Those Diagnosed

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The narratives about Bipolar Disorder promoted by drug companies may influence how those diagnosed understand themselves.

Could ‘Treatment Resistance’ be an Effect of Antidepressants?

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Previously taking antidepressants could make individuals less likely to respond to treatment for bipolar II depression.

Primary Care Practitioners May Mistake Irritability as Bipolar Disorder in Youth

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Family medicine and pediatric providers are less confident in their assessment of irritability in youth than psychiatric providers, which may lead to overdiagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Study Suggests Mania More Common in Psychosis When Antidepressants Used

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A prospective cohort study of those labeled high risk for psychosis finds a higher prevalence of antidepressant use among those who develop manic symptoms.

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 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.

Many Foster Kids Are Still Being Prescribed Antipsychotic Drugs

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Many experts expressed concern when the rate of antipsychotic prescriptions to children in foster care showed a rapid increase, peaking in 2008, and new recommendations and policies have tried to curb the use of these drugs. While the rate has plateaued, a new study points out that the “new normal” prescription levels are still dangerously high. The data reveals that almost one in ten children in foster care are currently being prescribed antipsychotic drugs with dangerous side-effects, many for diagnoses like ‘ADHD’ and disruptive behavior.

SSRI Antidepressants Increase Surgery Risks

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There is accumulating evidence that taking SSRI antidepressants increases the risk of bleeding and other complications during surgery, according to a review published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.

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