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Bipolar Disorders in Childhood

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a highly impairing mood disorder characterized by periods of sadness or irritability and periods of euphoria or intense anger. BD affects children, adolescents, and adults and is associated with impairment in all spheres of functioning—family, peers, and school or work. Although the prevalence of BD in childhood is lower than in adulthood, childhood-onset BD is associated with greater impairment later in life than is adult-onset BD. As such, recognition and treatment of BD in childhood could provide substantial benefit, both to individuals with the disorder and also to public health. This entry briefly summarizes the symptoms, prevalence, assessment, and treatment of BD in childhood.

What Is BD?

The American Psychiatric Association publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a ...

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