Tuesday, October 23, 2012

DSM Guide and a New Diagnosis for Kids

I read an article today in the Wall Street Journal about the revision of the DSM Guide (The scientific bible that doctors use to diagnosis mental illnesses). I have to say, I was disappointed in the latest news. The article exposed the battles between scientists over whether or not a new diagnosis will be created to reduce the number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The hope is to provide better treatment for kids who aren’t responding to the typical treatment methods being used today and if anything, collect more research dollars into the field of mood disorders in children.

Hearing about the division among experts, some even quitting over the dispute, leaves me to believe that we’re still a long way off from getting a true understanding of what our children have. Even if they add the new diagnosis to the manual, I’m sure that there will still be a lot of divisiveness over it among professionals. On top of that, if they do add it, there currently is no recommend treatment plan for these kids, so all we’ve gained is a new label.

And what about kids who are responding to current treatment, will they maintain the “bipolar” label?

How will insurance companies respond?

How will doctors respond? I know at our previous HMO one of our son’s psychiatrists told me that she would no longer diagnosis children with bipolar disorder but instead would use this new label only. But does this type of blanket approach really help kids, or does it just reduce the number of kids diagnosed with bipolar disorder? In the end, she admitted that the medications used would be the same currently used for bipolar disorder. So in this case, will any good come out of this?

There’s so much to consider...

The Long Battle to Rethink Mental Illness in Children:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444273704577633412579112188.html

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