So, doctors who adhere to this school of thought believe the defined symptoms are the same in both adults and children. This is the position of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which supported the largest and longest research study conducted to date on bipolar disorder in children (Leibenluft and Rich, 2008). This study is known as the Course and Outcome of Bipolar Youth (COBY).
The reason these influential institutions and possibly your child’s doctor believe the DSM-IV tools are valid is because research has demonstrated that there are children and adolescents who meet these criteria. As a matter of fact, COBY has recruited 300 kids who meet the DSM-IV guidelines (Leibenluft and Rich, 2008).
In the DSM-IV, there four types of bipolar disorder. Each specific type of bipolar disorder is distinguished from the others through the nature of episodes your child may be experiencing. The manual also provides a checklist of symptoms for each type of episode.
- Criteria for Bipolar I Disorder
- Criteria for Bipolar II Disorder
- Criteria for Cyclothymic Disorder
- Criteria for Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
- Criteria for a Manic Episode
- Criteria for a Hypomanic Episode
- Criteria for a Depressive Episode
- Criteria for a Mixed Episode
Theories in Diagnosing Children with Bipolar Disorder
American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR).
Leibenluft, E. & Rich, B.A. (2008). Pediatric bipolar disorder. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 4, 163-187.