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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

I Need Help

03/06/2008

Question:

I have a ten year old son that was diagnosed with childhood bipolar disorder and it`s really has been hell for me as a parent. He`s not on medicine yet. I`m in the process of looking for doctors that can help me and return my phone calls. As a doctor do you know of any good doctors in maryland that specialize in this type of behavior, I really need help

Answer:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding your son. I'm sorry to hear it's "been hell" for you as a parent, a sentiment I often hear from many parents. The only way to know if your son's behavior is caused by bipolar disorder, or any psychiatric disorder/other situation in his life is to get a comprehensive and detailed psychological assessment from a trained mental health professional. Because symptoms can mimic several other disorders and many disorders occur together (comorbidity), it's essential that a comprehensive and detailed psychological assessment of ALL the psychiatric diagnoses be conducted to identify which diagnoses and symptoms are present and which can be ruled-out and any other conditions that may be triggering this behavior.

Although I don't know of any specific doctors in Maryland, I suggest you call your local university department of psychology or psychiatry, children's hospital, community mental health center or National Association of Mentally Ill chapter to ask for names, locations and phone numbers of mental health professionals who have expertise assessing and treating children with mood disorders.

I hope this answer is helpful.

Best wishes,

For more information:

Go to the Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University