Description of a Half-Day Workshop
Childhood-onset Bipolar Disorder: Under-diagnosed, Under-treated and Under Discussion with Demitri F. Papolos, M.D.
(*) Abrupt swings of mood and energy that occur multiple times within a day, intense outbursts of temper, poor frustration tolerance, and oppositional defiant behaviors are commonplace in juvenile-onset bipolar disorder. These children veer from irritable, easily annoyed, angry mood states to silly, goofy, giddy elation, and then just as easily descend into low energy periods of intense boredom, depression and social withdrawal, fraught with self-recriminations and suicidal thoughts. Recent studies have found that from the time of initial manifestation of symptoms, it takes an average of ten years before a diagnosis is made. Complicating diagnosis and appropriate treatment, these children are commonly first diagnosed with many of the other childhood psychiatric conditions that typically co-occur with childhood-onset bipolar disorder and are more easily recognizable, including; separation anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, oppositional-defiant disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, and major depression.
In this workshop, Dr. Papolos will present a historical overview of the condition in childhood, describe the current diagnostic conundrums and therapeutic pitfalls in the context of a wide spectrum of comorbid conditions, and present data from recent studies that will help mental health professionals and educators more easily recognize childhood-onset bipolar disorder in their practices and in the classroom. In addition, recent findings from neuropsychological studies that have identified a number of specific cognitive deficits and common learning disabilities that are associated with the condition will be discussed. Specific pharmacological treatment strategies and various alternative adjunctive approaches that are currently being studied will be discussed.
Participants will be able to discuss the following:
- The most common symptoms of juvenile-onset bipolar disorder
- Whether the current DSM-IV criteria adequately define childhood-onset bipolar disorder?
- The most common comorbid conditions associated with childhood-onset bipolar disorder?
- Whether bipolar disorder can occur simultaneously with other psychiatric disorders, making it possible for a child to actually have three or four diagnoses?
- Whether many of the symptoms that suggest distinct disorders may merely be early precursors on a developmental continuum that eventually expresses itself as a full-blown bipolar disorder?
- Temperamental features of the condition and impact on the classroom
- Neuropsychological testing findings and common learning disabilities
- Executive function deficits and how they affect academic performance
* This description is for a half-day workshop. A full day workshop usually includes a case presentation and panel discussions hosted by the presenter and moderated by Dr. Papolos.