Monday, August 6, 2012

Bipolar Illness Plus Substance Use May Be Danger Signal for Adolescents

Early-onset bipolar disorder is associated with high rates of suicide attempts, Tina Goldstein, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues reported July 2 in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Moreover, persistent depression, mixed presentations, and active substance use signal imminent risk for suicidal behavior in adolescents with bipolar illness, the researchers also found.

Approximately 3 percent of American youth have bipolar disorder, other researchers recently reported. Since this figure is comparable to its prevalence among American adults, which is about 4 percent, the researchers thus believe that most adults with bipolar disorder probably develop it in their youth. For more information about this study and other recent research on bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, see Psychiatric News here and here. In addition, an article just posted on Psychiatric Services in Advance reports on costs of treating bipolar disorder among privately insured youths and how cost patterns differ from those of adults. Read that article here. And read more about the growing body of knowledge on diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in young patients in Clinical Manual for Management of Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents from American Psychiatric Publishing.

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