"One million children have been diagnosed with this new and controversial diagnosis – “childhood bipolar.” And one million children are being treated for “childhood bipolar” disorder and more and more at younger and younger ages."
After the AHRP Infomail about the ever so gentle rebuke meted out to Drs. Joseph Biederman, Thomas Spencer and Timothy Wilens by
we received an essay (posted below) from Jacob Azerrad, PhD, a clinical
University-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Azerrad notes:
" The real scandal perpetrated by Biederman has nothing to do with his consulting fee shenanigans and everything to do with the real life (and death) consequences of the methods now used by modern pediatric psychiatry to tag normal childhood behaviors with diagnoses – like “childhood bipolar” -- and the pediatric medical profession’s complicit acquiescence to such malarkey. It has been nothing short an epic assault on our children by those who prescribe antipsychotic medications as an antidote to normal childhood behavior."
Dr. Biederman has been a forceful leader in encouraging the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children. He has published numerous studies in scientific publications and has been funded by NIMH and pharmaceutical companies. He and his research group at Harvard are strongly associated with the forty fold increase in office visits by children and adolescents for the treatment of bipolar disorder between 1994-1995 (20,000) and 2002-2003 (800,000) (Moreno et al, Archives of General Psychiatry). Recently, he claimed that up to five percent of child psychiatric patients have bipolar disorder (see). The DSM-5 committee of the American Psychiatric Association has been critical of the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and plans to substitute a new diagnostic term for the children that have been characterized as bipolar by the Harvard group.