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Newsweek Letter to the Editor, RE: "Mommy, Am I Really Bipolar?"

June 29th, 2011

"Mommy, Am I Really Bipolar?", Letter to the Editor, Newsweek, June 29, 2011, by Susan Resko, The Balanced Mind Parent Network Executive Director

June 29, 2011

Evanston - The doctor who dismisses pediatric bipolar disorder as a “diagnostic fad” ignores hundreds of studies which provide certainty of bipolar disorder in children.  The American Psychiatric Association states, “…the “classic” adult phenotype clearly does present in pre-pubertal children.” A recent study at Emory University states, “bipolar disorder (in children) was underdiagnosed, not overdiagnosed.” The NIMH STEP-BD study states a majority of adults with bipolar disorder studied experienced onset of symptoms before age 19.

The real tragedy is that children have suffered needlessly because unenlightened doctors refuse to accept advances in science. Recognizing and treating bipolar disorder when it emerges in childhood can prevent decades of illness and even save lives.  Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and the risk of suicide in people with bipolar disorder is dramatically increased.

Does the doctor also believe the earth is flat?

Susan Resko
Executive Director
The Balanced Mind Parent Network