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November 18, 2009

Frontline Video explores Bipolar Disorder in children

Frontline recently aired a program that explores the rapid increase in diagnoses of bipolar disorder in children during the past 7-8 years; the program is an update from earlier Frontline pieces which aired in 2001 and 2008. This program offers an overview of the current environment and attitude in the US vis-à-vis diagnosing young children with bipolar disorder and prescribing psychiatric medicines (many of which are "off label" for kids and adolescents). The video asserts that the rapid increase in diagnosis of bipolar disorder for kids is primarily a US phenomenon and conveys the heart wrenching uncertainty for families who wrestle with the counter-intuitive notion of giving young children psychiatric medicines. It also provides updates on kids who were first interviewed in 2001 and 2008 to see how they are progressing and how their bipolar diagnosis affects their lives. It's worthwhile to watch this program as it aptly raises critical issues for families and young kids faced with a bipolar disorder diagnosis (see my Nov. 10, Oct 28 & Oct 13 blogs for additional background on bipolar disorder and children).

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