Pediatrics

Bipolar Children: Cutting-Edge Controversy, Insights, and by Sharna Olfman

By Sharna Olfman

Over the decade, the variety of young ones clinically determined with bipolar disease has elevated as much as fortyfold. this can be a development unique to the us, and one who, alarmingly, results in many of the clinically determined children―some nonetheless of their infancy―being prescribed antipsychotic medicines, frequently together with anticonvulsants. those periods of gear have risky unwanted side effects, together with a doubling of mortality premiums, shortened lifestyles span, severe weight achieve, and sort II diabetes. during this e-book, psychologist Sharna Olfman leads a group of well known specialists who learn that incredible upward push within the prognosis of pediatric bipolar ailment, fairly within the absence of any compelling facts for both the validity of the factors getting used to diagnose it or the security and effectiveness of the medicine getting used to regard it. while a baby is unnecessarily prescribed antipsychotic and anticonvulsant medicinal drugs, his or her psychological and actual healthiness might be irrecoverably compromised, says Olfman. With as many as two-and-a-half million young children from around the socioeconomic spectrum now taking antipsychotics, we've got set the degree for widescale baby abuse.

The participants to this revealing and demanding quantity contain psychiatrist David Healy, one of many world's top experts on psychotropic medicines; pediatrician Philip Landrigan, an the world over well known well-being researcher; and Robert Whitaker, an award profitable clinical journalist. The members establish and clarify complicated and interrelated elements that experience set the degree for the pediatric bipolar epidemic, they usually suggest perform and coverage adjustments to stem the tide of misdiagnosis and unsafe drug prescriptions.

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Extra resources for Bipolar Children: Cutting-Edge Controversy, Insights, and Research (Childhood in America)

Sample text

They want criteria different from the already broad and ambiguous adult version of bipolar disorder, but the same name, the same grave long-term prognosis for these children, and the same biological interventions used with bipolar adults. Biederman’s claim in 1995 that 23 percent of his clinic’s ADHD pediatric population also had bipolar disorder was initially met with shock and some derision from the rest of the child psychiatric community. “ADHD is for irritable and irritating kids. Bipolar disorder is for very irritable and very irritating kids,” one psychiatrist cynically remarked.

He was home schooled with a public school teacher for about four months. I worked to discontinue the Depakote successfully, but the family continued to employ the Risperdal, especially at night to attenuate Steven’s fears and anger. Meanwhile the marriage continued 40 BIPOLAR CHILDREN to deteriorate with outward displays of marital tension and arguing in front of the children. After a year Eugene left the home and moved in with his mother. Steven’s behavior deteriorated at Jody’s house, and with my assent the parents agreed that Steven should live primarily with his father.

22 BIPOLAR CHILDREN Heather Norris’s story is not unusual. The epidemic of bipolar disorder diagnoses in children hit the cover of Time in August 2002. ” The Time piece and other articles like it stressed that surveys show that 20 percent of adolescents nationwide have some form of diagnosable mental disorder. Ian Palmer, we are told, like Heather Norris, had begun treatment early—at age three—but failed to respond to either Prozac or stimulants, and was now taking anticonvulsants. 28 In 2000 at age two, Heather Norris was the youngest child in Tarrant County to be diagnosed as bipolar.

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