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Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: The Child Psychiatrist Perspective

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Abstract

This study’s objectives were to gain insight into reasons for the considerable rise in pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) and what impact the new diagnosis of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) may have on child psychiatric treatment. A purposive sample of 10 child psychiatrists was interviewed for this qualitative study. Interviews were transcribed and coded for themes. Participants believe that PBD is often misdiagnosed and overdiagnosed, though their understandings of the reasons behind this vary. The majority attribute it to providers trying to help children who need services but do not fit a diagnostic category, and undertrained professionals diagnosing children. Most see DMDD as positive, though opinions on how it might impact children and treatment vary. All see family as vital in the treatment process. Participants in this exploratory study support a team approach and social workers have a key role as part of this team.

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Correspondence to Mary B. Stebbins.

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Stebbins, M.B., Corcoran, J. Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: The Child Psychiatrist Perspective. Child Adolesc Soc Work J 33, 115–122 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-015-0411-7

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Keywords

  • Pediatric bipolar disorder
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
  • Child psychiatrists
  • Multidisciplinary team
  • Qualitative research