I found the description of the child with Severe Mood Disorder to be very similar to our situation. I appreciated that this condition was described as being extraordinarily disabling to the child and their families. In previous reports of this illness, I never felt that they truly appreciated the seriousness of the symptoms and the affect it had on children. I found it interesting that they found that these kids were just as impaired as those with bipolar disorder and I was also glad to see that they did acknowledge that bipolar disorder can occur in children.
Maybe this is the missing link we’ve been looking for. This would explain a lot if they determined that there was an illness that resembled bipolar disorder in children that would later become depression or anxiety as an adult.
I also thought it was interesting that in this article, Ellen Leibenluft M.D., mentioned that bipolar disorder in children may have a spectrum, that there may be overlapping brain dysfunction between severe mood disorder and bipolar disorder. (Moran, 2011)
The only question that is bugging me after reading this article is where does Bipolar II fit into all of this. Isn’t Bipolar II Disorder a bipolar illness without the mania? I understand it has hypomania, but that isn’t as easy to see. Hmmm...
So where does my son fit into all of this, I think only time will tell.
It’s exciting to see new research and steps towards better understanding and treatment, check out the article below:
Severe Childhood Mood Disorder May Be Unique Syndrome
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Volume 46 Number 2 Page 4
January 21, 2011