Childhood Bipolar Disorder: A Clinical Vignette

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Bipolar disorder in children and adolescents can easily be misdiagnosed, as symptom patterns overlap with other mood disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and commonly differ from adult presentations. A detailed description of the child's behavioral history and previous treatment response is critical to accurate diagnosis. Although studies with children are limited, a number of psychopharmaceuticals have been shown to provide therapeutic benefit. Parent/caregiver and educational support are essential components of successful treatment. This article describes an 11-year-old patient with bipolar disorder and then summarizes related treatment issues and options.

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2005;7(5):231-234