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Bipolar disorder in children and adolescents.

Authors
  • Birmaher, Boris1
  • 1 Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3811 O'Hara Street, Bellefield Towers Room 612, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Child and adolescent mental health
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2013
Volume
18
Issue
3
Pages
140–148
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/camh.12021
PMID: 24273457
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The existence of bipolar disorder (BP) in youth is controversial. The current evidence regarding the diagnosis of BP in youth was reviewed. BP is a recurrent familial disorder that occurs in 1-3% of youth, particularly in adolescents. Except for subsyndromal BP, the prevalence of BP-I is similar across most countries. Due to the child's immaturity, the presence of comorbid disorders, and divergent interpretations of manic symptomatology it is difficult to diagnose BP in youth. Youth with subsyndromal mania and family history of BP, are at high risk to develop BP-I and BP-II. Both the full and subsyndromal syndromal BP are associated with significant psychosocial difficulties and increased risk for use of substances, suicidality, legal problems, and services utilization. BP disorder exists in youth, but it is difficult to diagnose. The recurrent nature and psychosocial morbidity associated with this illness during critical developmental stages calls for comprehensive longitudinal evaluation and accurate recognition and treatment because delays in treatment are associated with poor outcome.

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