Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: The Controversy and the Reality

Please Note: Due to technical difficulties, the talk begins at approximately 9:35 minutes and slides are archived seperately. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Even though it’s been more than two decades since the diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) became a significant subject in psychiatric research papers, and then subsequently popular literature  (Time Magazine, Newsweek etc.) and television media (Oprah, 20/20 etc.), it remains an area of controversy in the minds of many psychiatric practitioners.  It is fascinating- to those directly involved in the research and clinically focused on this disorder, childhood onset bipolar disorder is viewed as an established entity, one that just requires more clarification and elucidation but whose existence is irrefutable. On the other hand, there are many physicians that feel that the diagnosis has been used too loosely and ascribed to too many children who in reality suffer from other primary diagnoses, most notably Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).  This dichotomy of belief in the field of psychiatry is what led to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry -5th edition (DSM V) creating the newer category of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, with the hope of separating out the persistently angry irritable children that were “over-diagnosed” with BPD. 

What I’d like to do in this videoconference is discuss Pediatric Bipolarity and explain a bit about why the confusion exists, what the symptom presentation looks like in children, discuss possible causes, as well as  touch upon how inflammation and immunologic factors may play an important role in approaching bipolar disorder in children.

Rosalie Greenberg, M.D. is a Board Certified child and adult psychiatrist who specializes in the psvchopharmacologic treatment of youth with psychiatric disorders, with special expertize in the area of pediatric mood disorders. She is an active educator, lectures to both public and professional audiences and has presented at national and international psychiatric meeting on a variety of topics related to pediatric mental disorders.  Dr. Greenberg is the author of Bipolar Kids:  Helping Your Child Find Calm InThe Mood Storm, as well as the author/editor of two other books.  With Veronica Bird she co-produced the educational video Rescuing Child:  Understanding Bipolar Disorders in Children and Adolescents, which was funded by the Veronica Bird Charitable Foundation.  She is a Huffington Post Blogger on issues related to mental health, as well as creator, producer, and host of the three (3) time Telly Award winning New Jersey cable show Kids First With Rosalie Greenberg, MD, a show for parents on a variety of topics relevant to raising children in today’s world.  Dr. Greenberg was the 2012 recipient of the National Alliance of Mental Illness Exemplary Psychiatrist Award.   Dr. Greenberg is active in a variety of professional organizations including The American Psychiatric Association; The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; The International Society of Bipolar Disorders and the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society.


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