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Thread: Child Bipolar Disorder Still Rare

  1. #1
    Community Member Prot's Avatar
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    Default Child Bipolar Disorder Still Rare

    Bipolar disorder usually strikes between the ages of 15 and 25, and is extremely rare in preteens, according to a major study: Age at onset versus family history and clinical outcomes in 1,665 international bipolar-I disorder patients

    The findings are old hat. It's long been known that manic-depression most often begins around the age of 20, give or take a few years. Onset in later life is less common while earlier onset is very unusual.

    The main graph could have been lifted from any psychiatry textbooks of the last century:






    The red bars are the data. Ignore the black line, that just shows an imaginary 'even' distribution over the lifespan.

    Why am I blogging about these remarkably unremarkable results? Because they undermines the theory, popular in certain quarters but highly controversial, that 'child bipolar' or 'pediatric bipolar' is a major health problem.

    The study confirmed that early-onset bipolar I does exist, but just 5% of the bipolar I patients had an onset before the age of 15. Assuming a lifetime prevalence of 1% for bipolar I disorder, which is about right, that makes about 0.05%, 1 in 2000 kids, about the same prevalence as Down's Syndrome. Even that's an overestimate, though, because this sample was enriched for early-onset cases: some of the participating clinics were child and adolescent only.

    There's a few caveats. This was a retrospective study, that took adults diagnosed bipolar, and asked when their symptoms first appeared. It's possible that early onset cases were under-sampled, if they were less likely to survive to adulthood, or get treated. The generally milder bipolar II might also be different from the bipolar I studied here. But in general, these numbers support the traditional view that childhood bipolar is just not very prevalent.


    http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.co.uk/2...till-rare.html
    Yet inside there is this perpetual nagging doubt;
    the feeling we are possessed by a 'subtle lack of togetherness''.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member houghchrst's Avatar
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    I know I am late here Prot but can you find out or do you know if there is any information regarding how often an initial diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder in early teens is later properly diagnosed as Generalized Anxiety Disorder when they are older. Because I wonder how often hormones interferes with the Anxiety Disorder increasing the anxiety and causing differing resulting behaviors then as the hormones begin to level out the severe behaviors lessen and though the anxiety is still high is it better controlled.

    My son will be....oh my do I dare say lol....20 in August and he is so much better now that he made it through those truly horrible teenage years that I lived in fear for him. His anxiety is still high but his 'red rages' have stopped, his responses to the same stimuli that would have sent him in no telling what direction is more appropriate and controlled. I know it probably has a lot to do with maturing.

    Okay didn't mean for this to be so long. Wish we saw you more often.

  3. #3

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    Child Bipolar Disorder is even rarer now that the DSM 5 killed it. I wonder how that will work out for the children and their families.
    “The revolutionary act of treating ourselves tenderly can begin to undo the aversive messages of a lifetime.”
    ~ Tara Brach, “Radical Acceptance”

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by houghchrst View Post
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    My son will be....oh my do I dare say lol....20 in August and he is so much better now that he made it through those truly horrible teenage years that I lived in fear for him. His anxiety is still high but his 'red rages' have stopped,
    'Sorry that you and your son go through this.
    Someone please let the psychiatrists know, understand, and fully appreciate the role that anxiety plays in our lives.
    “The revolutionary act of treating ourselves tenderly can begin to undo the aversive messages of a lifetime.”
    ~ Tara Brach, “Radical Acceptance”

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