Skip to comments.Bipolar diagnosis jumps in young children: study
Posted on 01/15/2010 7:30:21 AM PST by decimon
BOSTON (Reuters) The number of children aged 2 to 5 who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed powerful antipsychotic drugs has doubled over the past decade, according to research released on Friday.
The research suggests that while it is still rare to prescribe powerful psychiatric drugs to 2-year-olds, the practice is becoming more frequent.
The data, compiled from 2000 to 2007, and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, could inform testimony at the upcoming Boston-area murder trials of the parents of 4-year-old Rebecca Riley. The girl died of an overdose of mood-stabilizing medication in 2006.
A Boston child psychiatrist, Kayoko Kifuji, diagnosed Riley with bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder when she was 30 months old, and placed her on several powerful drugs: Depakote, an antiseizure medication also used for bipolar disorder, and clonidine, a blood pressure medication.
Kifuji's testimony may be crucial to the fate of Michael and Carolyn Riley, who face first-degree murder charges. A grand jury and a review by the state's medical licensing board cleared the doctor of wrongdoing.
Prosecutors claim the Rileys deliberately overmedicated their daughter to subdue her. The couple say they were following Kifuji's instructions and their daughter died of pneumonia.
The case has shone the spotlight again on a debate within the psychiatric profession about whether bipolar disorder can be diagnosed in very young children and whether it is wise to prescribe powerful medications.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Bipolar buttheads ping.
I am not sure to be happy or sad about this.
How convenient. Now they can medicate the bad behavior and the kid has an excuse to be a brat. Being diagnosed bi-polar must mean more excuses and exemptions than being tagged with ADDHD.
The number of vaccinations jumps also.
The more drugs we get people to take, the better!
I guess I’m of two minds regarding this report.
Well, you can alternate.
I know, it is laughable and extremely sad at the same time.
Having raised our 5 kids through the two year old stage, I think it would be pretty hard to sort out.
'Rational' just doesn't apply at that age.
I am bipolar, a large galoot, and I need nothing stronger than simple Lithium Carbonate to adequately manage my condition: it is the oldest, simplest, and probably the most effective treatment for bipolar disorder known to Mankind.
I am stunned they would even be trying to diagnose wee kids with bipolar disorder. I do not know how they would even begin to do so. And I am at a loss to understand why they would need strong pharmaceuticals. Of course, I’m not a doctor, I’m just a patient.
I wonder how much prompting is coming from the parents, who may be wanting to medicate a naughty-but-otherwise-healthy child into behaving itself? I dunno, but I gotta wonder.
my mom is bipolar, a teeny drink of water and she needs more than what you need. it’s not, apparently the size of your galoot that matters, rather the individual brain chemistry of the patient.
But I’m with you on the diagnosing of 2 year olds as bipolar.
What a bunch of quacks. All kids have wild mood swings, it is part of being a kid. We are going to be a society of zombies. It should be criminal to force mind altering drugs on our kids.
Thanks for the insight.
I also don’t know how a toddler can be so diagnosed. Unless there is some definite state of brain chemistry or structure to dictate such a diagnosis. I doubt there is anything but behavioral diagnosis and kiddie-poos are all nuts.
Bipolar is a serious not laughable disease. My brother in laws grandmother was bipolar and killed herself. My BIL’s mother has just the past couple months attempted suicide twice making her total attempts about 7 or so. It is so hard for my sister and her family.
On that note children being bipolar is possible and does happen, but I do believe the parents of these children are responsible in allowing bad behavior. They do not discipline them and encourage bad bevior by catering to the child.
Dear friends of mine have a daughter who is 30. She is bipolar and another mental illness. They have bought this daughter everything she wanted. They are wealthy and adopted her. Her biological mother was a nut. No doubt her illness is real. It is just made worse by instead if teaching their daughter to clean up her emotinal messes, they’d take her to buy her Prada, Jimmy Choo’s, car, and constant flow of money. They were so afraid of what their daughter would do if they stood up to her they did opposite of what she needed. She’s now been in and out of mental hospitals, had a baby that is now been adopted out to a loving family. Sad.
to a hammer everything looks like a nail.
I wouldn’t say that being bipolar isn’t real or isn’t serious. I would say that spurious diagnosis and medication of infants is wrong.
I think if a child is suicidal then you have no choice but to do whatever to help, but if it’s just up and down moods there should be other options then medicine as well. Depression is one thing easily treated without medicine, bipolar is another. Each situation the doctor needs to use medicine as a last resort on children.
I was wondering that too. I’ve been around enough young children to think that most at age two at times could be described that way. Geez, they can rapid cycle through crying laughing and crying in the course of 10 minutes so yep bi polar (NOT),or maybe just a normal 2 yo?
I agree completely - I was laughing while reading them describing the personality change..... who hasn’t seen a 2 year old throwing a fit then suddenly bursting into laughter?
I didn’t get offended by your joke. And I agree 2 year olds with bipolar? Don’t believe that either and agree medicating a 2 year old is wrong.
These folks catering to the child has no bearing on the course of the illness. You can’t make bipolar better or worse by trying to teach her boundaries. It’s not good what they’ve done, but it is not impacting her bipolar disorder.
What she really needs is to have someone there to ensure that she takes her meds daily.
My mom is an unholy terror off her meds, quite a reasonable person when on.
Thanks - I wouldn’t want to offend if I wasn’t trying to... ;^)
I really feel for the children of today. They are so abused in the name of “change.” If they are not perfect in their parents’ or a teacher’s eyes, out comes the drugs. EVERY two year old is “bi-polar”!
Let’s see, why not trust my word when I say my friends have catered to their daughter in her situation? I didn’t give all the hundreds of examples cause I know what I’m talking about. Putting an adult child in a mental institution is responsible, but catering to their daughters emotional messes is another.
I’ll give examples quickly since you won’t take my word for it.
The daughter has bipolar with psychzofrenia(sp?). It was not diagnosed till she was early 20’s. When the child was growing up and as a young teen when she got upset with not getting her way she would act badly(violence, messes, screaming). So what did my friends do? Take their daughter shopping to make her happy. They didn’t ground her/discipline her. They catered to her. She would demand for a $100.00 pair of jeans and scream if she wouldn’t get her way. So they’d go buy her the jeans. This has gone on and on for years.
Their daughter has been in and out of hospitals. I don’t know the current situation, but a few years ago they sent her to a hospital in New England. Their daughter left the hospital on allowed times out and formed a relationship with some guy. She got pregnant and my friends were prepared to deal with that I believe. So their daughter one night broke into the office of the Hospital director, stole a bunch of money, left the hospital, and then got on a plane headed home several states away. She called her mom and dad while eating at the restaurant of the country club of her parents. She told them she needed money to check into a hotel(she wasn’t allowed home due to her violence). They gave their daughter the money! There were charges filed against their daughter for stealing the money from the hospital. Her parents got that worked out for her.
Look, I’m not saying my friends had it easy. I feel for them way more then you know. They’ve been through hell! But they know they’ve catered to their daughter instead if helping her to learn to clean up her messes. Just because she is mentally I’ll doesn’t mean you stop trying to help that mentally I’ll person learn what’s right, what’s normal behavior. You don’t do a mentally ill person treating them like they are any different then the rest of us. You help them by teaching them to be responsible for their own actions. To put it simply, when we make a mess we clean it up. When you make an emotional mess you should do the same.
I could give you bunches more examples, but have to go clean up my mess in my kitchen.
Imo the majority of these cases are the children reflecting the mood swings of a bi-polar parent. It’s about boundaries. The bi-polar parent has none and neither will their children. In the presence of a non-bipolar parent most children will be(come) normal. Laws need to be changed so that bi-polar adults do not have sole custody of their minor children.
“Despite increasing rates of antipsychotic use by very young children, provision of formal mental health services remains sparse. These service patterns highlight a critical need to improve the availability of specialized and well integrated mental health care for very young children with serious mental health problems.”
How many very young children have serious mental health problems? If everyone’s nuts then no one is nuts.
Having been a Pediatric RN for over 20 years, as well as having worked for 3 years on an in-patient children’s psych unit, I can say that diagnosing a toddler with bipolar is not possible, let alone ethical. Looking at their developmental stage bolsters this.
It’s been 21 years since I worked in psych, but in the mid-late 80s, the psychiatrists I worked with (and most other docs) would not put such a heavy duty diagnosis on a child, let alone a toddler. There would rarely be a teen diagnosed with it, but it wasn’t common. They preferred to hold off on that diagnosis for later adolescence if possible.
Bipolar has nothing to do with how a child is raised, although their could be co-existing behavioral problems along with it.
Sounds right to me.
The easiest way to diagnose bi-polar condition is a gene test. Not sure what it costs, but research has determined that this is a strictly gene mediated problem. On the other hand, some “victims” are asymptomatic all their lives ~ but they are rare.
No, the meds are a gift from God Himself.
There's a 1 in 7 chance of passing on the gene(s) ~
> Depression is one thing easily treated without medicine, bipolar is another.
I’d say that’s a WILD generalization: I have both conditions and without medication I am in real trouble, and the people around me are in for an interesting time.
The medication is simple: Lithium Carbonate and Venlafaxine plus a good diet and plenty of sleep. But the medication is also pretty essential, and it took many years to get the balance right.
Therapy alone might work for some people, but for many of us it is way insufficient.
Depression with bipolar is part of bipolar, therefore needing a mood stabilizer/medicine. I’ve had depression and took meds for it. I now avoid depression by not eating or drinking caffeine.
> Depression with bipolar is part of bipolar, therefore needing a mood stabilizer/medicine.
In my case, Bipolar is mostly about mood, and Depression is mostly about energy levels — there is some crossover but they have been treated as separate matters.
Caffeine, or no caffeine, does not materially affect either my mood or my energy levels. Lithium has a profound effect on my mood. Venlafaxine helps with my energy levels, but I still have difficulty with sleep — either too much or way too little. That is the next thing to get under control.
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