If the incidence of a childhood illness increased 4,000% in 9 years, you would think more people would be alarmed. The diagnosis of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder (PBD) did increase that much from 1994 to 2003, and is still on the rise. There is more buzz in the media about it the past few years, and research has been (and continues being) done.
PBD is not in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text revision; DSM-IV-TR ), which is the current guide to mental disorders; approved by the American Psychiatric Association in 2000. However, PBD is an accepted diagnosis by many psychiatrists and doctors who cite studies validating the need for it.
The PBD diagnosis has its opponents. “The proponents of pediatric bipolar often rely on rhetorical sleights of hand to bolster their case by strategically framing the terms of the debate. They conflate facts with value judgments and wield these facts in an attempt to short-circuit and shut down all debate. They cite neurotransmitter activity, brain imaging, and heredity as proof that patients are "sick" when, at its best, this evidence signifies difference and diversity.”
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