Bipolarity in the Young Term Paper by Nicky

Bipolarity in the Young
A look at diagnostic concerns with bipolar disorder in the young.
# 149049 | 1,464 words | 3 sources | APA | 2011 | US

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This paper critiques the recent increase of diagnoses of bipolar disorder in young people, based on an article in the "New York Times." The paper cites the benefit to drug companies of this diagnoses, since these drugs are expensive. Additionally, the paper notes the incidence of comorbidity of bipolar disorder with other conditions, such as ADHD. Various problems in actually diagnosing psychiatric disorders in children and teens is further discussed, particularly in light of what is often age appropriate exuberance. The paper concludes by stating that while awareness of childhood mental disorders may have indeed increased most indications suggest that this alone cannot explain the increase in diagnosis of childhood bipolarity.

From the Paper:

"However, it is admittedly possible that both ADHD and bipolarity are more likely to be co-morbid than previously suspected, hence the frequent overlap or confusion about labeling children like Seth and Eric. Carlson supports medicating both conditions when necessary, noting: "there have been three small but systematic studies indicating that the addition of ADHD medications to antimanic medications in children with bipolar disorder and ADHD does not worsen symptoms and may improve them... from a therapeutic standpoint, the difference between mania and severe ADHD (plus aggression) is not in the use of atypical antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, both of which are supported by a substantial evidence base for use in both disorders" (Carlson 2009). What Carlson does not note, however, is that amongst children the diagnostic criteria for bipolarity and ADHD is different than for adults, and may be more likely to overlap than in adult diagnosis, further complicating the classifications: "symptoms diagnosed as bipolar disorder in children often bear little resemblance to those in adults. Instead, the children's moods seem to flip on and off like a stoplight throughout the day, and their upswings often look to some psychiatrists more like extreme agitation than euphoria" (Carey 2006, p.3). Or, one could add--simply childhood exuberance."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Carey, Benedict. (2007, September 4). Bipolar illness soars as a diagnosis amongst the young. New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2009 at
  • Carey, Benedict. (2006, November 11) What's wrong with a child? Psychiatrists often disagree. New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2009 at
  • Carlson, Gabrielle A. (2009). Treating the childhood bipolar controversy: A tale of two children. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 166(1), 18-24. Retrieved May 24, 2009, from ProQuest Medical Library database. (Document ID: 1621890911).

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Bipolarity in the Young (2011, November 21) Retrieved January 17, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Bipolarity in the Young" 21 November 2011. Web. 17 January. 2021. <>