Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bipolar Disorder More Common Than Expected in Hospitalized Adolescents

From Lifespan.org:

"Clinicians at Bradley Hospital, the nation’s first psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents, have found that bipolar disorder is more common than expected in teens in a psychiatric inpatient setting.

“In the past, mental health professionals thought that about one percent of teens was bipolar—our research indicates that if a strict definition of the illness is applied, up to twenty percent of adolescents on psychiatric units may be manic-depressive,” says lead author Jeffrey Hunt, MD, a child psychiatrist at Bradley Hospital and associate professor of psychiatry at Brown Medical School. The study appears in the December issue of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is characterized by dramatic mood swings—from overly “high” and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again. “There are often periods of normal mood in between, but there is always accompanying serious impairment in functioning,” says Hunt." (continued through link)