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The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood's Most Misunderstood Disorder Hardcover – January 4, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; 1st edition (January 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767903161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767903165
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #407,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

For any caregiver experiencing life with a bipolar child, Demitri and Janice Papolos's The Bipolar Child will be an indispensable reference guide. The material is presented clearly, with lots of helpful charts and lists to aid in receiving proper diagnosis, treatment, and long-term care. All medical information is relayed with the aim of helping parents to ensure effective treatment for their children and includes journal-tracking formats to help caregivers provide accurate information to personal physicians. Importantly, many pages are devoted to discussions about the emotional upheavals that living with a bipolar child can bring, and how parents and children can cope most effectively. The book is filled with families' stories that do a beautiful job providing comfort and inspiration to others. A detailed chapter on hospitalization covers everything from insurance to types of treatments. The authors provide excellent information regarding improved educational practices, with step-by-step instructions for goal-setting with your child and communicating your child's needs to school personnel. The Bipolar Child is a satisfying and wise read. --Jill Lightner

From Publishers Weekly

Demitri, associate professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and his wife, Janice (authors of Overcoming Depression), present a comprehensive view of early-onset bipolar disorder, focusing on how this complicated illness evolves in children. The authors warn that nearly one-third of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may actually be bipolar (previously called manic depression), and they stress the importance of getting early diagnosis and treatmentAespecially since ritalin, which is commonly prescribed for ADHD, may worsen the bipolar child's condition. The authors dispel the myth that bipolar disorder occurs only in adolescents and adults and note that cases of bipolar disorder are increasingly occurring at a younger age. While the book sounds several alarms, it also offers support to parents (Demitri is the adviser for an online support group for parents of bipolar children, from which the authors culled much of their anecdotal information). In addition to diagnosis and treatment, the authors discuss practical ways to deal with the condition itself, as well as the impact it has on the entire family. This is an important guide for parents seeking ways to cope with this potentially devastating disorder. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to parents, teachers, counselors, and anyone who works or lives with a child with bi-polar disorder.
E. Jones
This book helped me understand myself better as a child and will assist me in understanding my daughter (15), who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
R. Ziegler
This book wll bring them understanding and comfort knowing they are not alone and help them to come to terms with their life long illness.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

189 of 195 people found the following review helpful By Diane Docherty on January 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This exceptional book is an in-depth, yet easy-to-read, "bible" on early-onset (childhood) bipolar disorder. It covers every aspect of this devastating and misunderstood illness--from genetics, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment/medications to impact on the family, educational implications, and insurance. Throughout the book, there are detailed, personal accounts (provided by parents of bipolar children) that shed light on the "everyday" lives of children with this illness. These accounts complement the more technical, medical discussions, making it easy for the layman to fully grasp all aspects of the illness.
The sections that that describe the differences between adult bipolar disorder and early-onset bipolar disorder are particularly impressive. The sections on other diagnostic categories (such as ADHD which is frequently a "misdiagnosis" with tragic results) are equally impressive.
In short, this book ought to be "required" reading for everyone involved in the life of a bipolar child, including parents, relatives, teachers, therapists, and doctors. As the parent of a child diagnosed ten years ago at age five with bipolar disorder, I can say with confidence that this book more than lives up to its subtitle, "The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood's Most Misunderstood Disorder." It is a medical reference book, parent handbook, educational planning book, treatment roadmap, and book of hope--all rolled into one!
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142 of 146 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Burns VINE VOICE on January 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One might argue that the authors attempted to squeeze too much information between one set of covers. It does seem that there are actually two books here: one, a medical analysis of the etiology of Bipolar Disorder, particularly early onset in very young children; and another book guiding parents in recognizing the symptoms and navigating the medical, insurance, and governmental mazes to obtain treatment for their children. Be that as it may, the authors have written a very provocative treatment of Bipolar Disorder that brings into print what psychiatrists, mental health professionals, and many parents have been concerned about for some time. For the past decade or so, there has been growing concern about the precision of children's diagnoses vis-à-vis Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. While many parents and school officials wonder if the ADHD diagnosis is rendered too often, there is another school of thought emerging that as many as a third of ADHD diagnoses are in reality cases of early onset Bipolar Disorder.
The authors are not alarmists; their stance, research, and professional networking is mainstream. But this work is alarming. It argues from the testimony of hundreds of parents connected to the authors from around the country by the Internet, that their children were much more violently ill than DSM-IV criteria for ADHD would admit, and that traditional ADHD treatments were not working, in fact making the situations worse. Admitting that the ADHD/bipolar differential is tricky for the diagnostician, the authors have arrived at useful clinical clues. For example, when a hyperactive child breaks something, more often than not he is angry with himself for his clumsiness.
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82 of 86 people found the following review helpful By mom of bipolar son on February 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am so glad that his book became available when it did -- my 13 year old son was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder in November, 1999 after a two week stay in the hospital for mania. Just a year before, he was hospitalized with ADHD and depression for a week. He was diagnosed ADHD at the age of 6. Over the years, he was very moody and had many up and down periods. The stimulants and antidepressants actually made the disorder worse. I tried to find information regarding children with bipolar in November, but could find very little. Then I found out about this book. I was very excited. This book is great! It provided very accurate information that described my son and let me know he wasn't the only one who had this. I also found the information regarding how to find a good doctor very helpful also. I feel based on that info. we have found a great doctor (after going through four). I know a couple of the reviews were negative; and I don't know if your child suffers from this disorder, but you really don't know what's it's like until you live with it. Thanks for reading.
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148 of 161 people found the following review helpful By KiddieDoc on January 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I see a significant number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder for psychiatric re-evaluation. Many parents of these children quote "The Bipolar Child" and request I give their child a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. When re-evaluated, the vast majority of these children is not found to suffer from bipolar disorder, but from one or more of the following: poverty (commonly accompanied by poor nutrition, poor sleep, poor medical care, insecurity, inadequate bedding/shelter, neglect, distressed parents and single parents), addicted parents, autism spectrum disorders, language and communication disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, oppositional defiant disorder, celiac disease, mental retardation, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, conduct disorder, bullying, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid disorders, sleep disorders, seizure disorders and problems from past head injuries.

Presently, published research into the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in children is sparse, and experts disagree as to what the symptoms are. Some suggest many characteristics outlined in the Bipolar Child belong to a new diagnosis entirely.

Symptoms outlined in The Bipolar Child do not entirely agree with findings from existing studies of families in which the diagnosis has been firmly established. A notable example is a study of Amish children with bipolar parents (the Amish keep excellent records of their family trees). Researchers report adults who knew them well described children who appear to have inherited bipolar disorder as follows: stubborn, sensitive, determined, anxious, worried, distractible, excitable, low energy, hyper-alert; and having: school role impairment, mood changes, and health complaints.
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