Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.

Original Research: National Trends in the Outpatient Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in Youth

There has been a recent rapid increase in the diagnosis of youth bipolar disorder in office-based medical settings. This increase highlights a need for clinical epidemiological reliability studies to determine the accuracy of clinical diagnoses of child and adolescent bipolar disorder in community practice.

How rapid of an increase? Forty-fold. Wow. Of course, then, debates:

But the magnitude of the increase surprises many psychiatrists. They say it is likely to intensify the debate over the validity of the diagnosis, which has shaken child psychiatry.


Some experts say greater awareness, reflected in the increasing diagnoses, is letting youngsters with the disorder obtain the treatment they need.


Other experts say bipolar disorder is overdiagnosed. The term, the critics say, has become a catchall applied to almost any explosive, aggressive child.

Perhaps the following, from the original research, can shed some light:

(M)ost youth (90.6%) and adults (86.4%) received a psychotropic medication during bipolar disorder visits, with comparable rates of mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants prescribed for both age groups.

If you build drugs, they will come. (Title Reference)

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