New guidelines have been developed to diagnose and treat bipolar disorder for children ages six to 17.
by ADDitude Editors
The latest guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in children, published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, reflect a significant change in the definition of the illness. The development of the new guidelines was prompted by a need to refine the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder in children and adolescents between ages 6 and 17. A few recent studies argue that the greater mood changeability characterizing the childhood disorder looks very different from, or may even be a different illness than, the "classic euphoric mania" seen in adult-onset bipolar disorder. The development of the new guidelines was sponsored by the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation.