Bipolar Disorder In Kids
Depressive Symptoms continued...
Cohn Markell is concerned that an inaccurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder
can "label" a kid for life. "Many of the symptoms that are listed
for bipolar disorder can be caused by other things from abuse and neglect to
physical illnesses such as epilepsy, encephalitis, brain tumor, or head
When parents bring a child with severe mood swings to him, Cohn Markell
learns about the child's environment -- by observing the child himself and/or
by giving the parents and teachers an observational scale ("If the behavior
isn't the same at home and at school, then something else might be going
on," he says). He also takes a history to determine how long the symptoms
have been present and refers the child to a pediatrician to rule out physical
If a child is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, says Cohn Markell, he
recommends counseling, special classes or schools, and support services for the
child and family.
Judith Lederman agrees. "There's so much to know and so much to deal
with," she says. But it's important to know that you're not alone. There
is support out there. But you have to seek it out."
Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD, August 22,