Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder

Early-onset bipolar disorder is manic-depression that appears early–very early–in life.

For many years it was assumed that children could not suffer the mood swings of mania or depression, but researchers are now reporting that bipolar disorder (or early temperamental features of it) can occur in very young children, and that it is much more common that previously thought.

hug1The Bipolar Child

Demitri F. Papolos, M.D. is one of a handful of psychiatrists in the world who began to see and to speak out about the possible deleterious effects of antidepressants and stimulants in the population of children within the bipolar spectrum.

His extensive work with youngsters with the condition and their families, led him to team with coauthor, Janice Papolos, to write the first book ever published on the subject of early-onset bipolar disorder, The Bipolar Child.

The Effectiveness of Ketamine

Recently, there has been a growing interest in ketamine as a rapid and effective treatment for people with depression and bipolar disorder who are resistant to other treatments. Request a consultation with Dr. Papolos to find out more.

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The Diagnostic Assessment Program for Juvenile Bipolar Disorder provides preliminary diagnostic and symptom severity measures, as well as scaled scores of other key symptom dimensions. The Child Bipolar Questionnaire (CBQ)


Delivered with the compassion and humor, Janice Papolos paints a revealing picture of a day in the life of children and adolescents suffering with bipolar disorder, and of those who love them. A DVD enhanced with music, photos, and additional footage.


About.com wrote that the first edition of The Bipolar Child was “the shot heard round the psychiatric world” as this book began to change the way child psychiatry understood children suffering with these symptoms, and how they should, (and should not be) treated.

  • The Definitive Reference on Bipolar Children
    There is NOTHING that compares with the information in this book! It is the benchmark of knowledge and resources. There is a great reassurance in reading it that many families are facing the same nightmare and can find ways of living through it. This book should be required reading for anyone in the mental health field. Every parent of a child with bipolar disorder should have a copy.

    Leslie Proctor
  • “A pioneering, courageous, and potentially life-saving chronicle of the realities of living with a manic-depressive child….By listening to the parents’ stories, and profiting from the Papoloses groundbreaking research, an entire generation of children can get help and go on to lead productive lives.”

    Victoria Secunda, author of When Madness Comes Home
  • “Up until now no literature has addressed the issue of bipolar disorder, but with this book, the Papoloses have somehow managed to climb into the minds of the parents of bipolar children and answer our tremendous number of questions….Finally, parents of bipolar children have a book that will help them find hope!”

    S.M. Tomie Burke, founder, Parents of Bipolar Children and the BPParent Listserv
  • Required Reading for Parents, Educators and Providers, This exceptional book is an in-depth, yet easy-to-read, “bible” on early-onset (childhood) bipolar disorder. It covers every aspect of this devastating and misunderstood illness–from genetics, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment/medications to impact on the family, educational implications, and insurance. This book ought to be “required” reading for everyone involved in the life of a bipolar child, including parents, relatives, teachers, therapists, and doctors. It is a medical reference book, parent handbook, educational planning book, treatment roadmap, and book of hope–all rolled into one!

    Diane Docherty
  • “Demitri and Janice Papolos have broken important new ground by taking on the challenging problem of bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder in children and adolescents. The disorder is much more prevalent than has traditionally been accepted by many mental health professionals, frequently undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and improperly treated. This new book reviews what is known about this long overlooked, but rather common, pediatric disorder, balancing scientific and clinical knowledge with moving personal accounts of experiences of real families who have known the problems all too well, typically with too little appropriate help. Their efforts are welcome, and should help to open up a much-needed, wider consideration of pediatric bipolar disorder, its distinction from behavioral and attention disorders of youth, and the need for redoubled efforts at serious scientific study as well as clinical efforts to improve its timely recognition and long-term treatment. This book has major public health significance.”

    Ross J. Baldessarini, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School