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Understanding the Mind of Your Bipolar Child: The Complete Guide to the Development, Treatment, and Parenting of Children with Bipolar Disorder Paperback – March 4, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0312358907 ISBN-10: 0312358903 Edition: 1st

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Understanding the Mind of Your Bipolar Child: The Complete Guide to the Development, Treatment, and Parenting of Children with Bipolar Disorder + The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood's Most Misunderstood Disorder, Third Edition + What Works for Bipolar Kids: Help and Hope for Parents
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312358903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312358907
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The Psychiatric Times review, reviewed by Amy E. West, PhD, May 1st, 2007

Childhood bipolar disorder is a devastating illness that affects emotional, social, and cognitive development. In recent years, increased attention devoted to the study of bipolar disorder in childhood has resulted in greater information regarding the cause, phenomenology, and treatment of the disorder. However, despite improved understanding and awareness, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children is still plagued by confusion and misunderstanding because of the complex and diverse presentations of the condition, difficulties in diagnosis, and overlap with other disorders.

The aim of Understanding the Mind of Your Bipolar Child is to provide a comprehensive overview of bipolar disorder in childhood, including diagnosis, developmental issues, common co-occurring disorders, and treatment options. What is most unique about this book, in comparison with others that discuss diagnostic issues and treatments, is that it focuses on considering bipolar disorder within a developmental framework, informed mostly by psychodynamic principles. The emphasis on development leaves the reader with a comprehensive and integrated notion of how symptoms of bipolar disorder interact dynamically with other personal characteristics and contextual variables of the child in affecting his or her developmental trajectory.

The book is divided into 3 parts: "Diagnosis," "Development," and "Treatment." Part I focuses on the complexities of diagnosing bipolar disorder in children. The author outlines clearly the types of symptoms that suggest a bipolar spectrum disorder and then discusses the different types of bipolar disorder. A strength of this section is the attention paid to the complications encountered when diagnosing bipolar disorder, including different sources of information, the varying spectrum of the disorder, the varying age at onset, and overlapping conditions.

Part II, the longest and most involved section, undertakes a comprehensive exploration of bipolar disorder within the developmental context of the individual child. This section is organized into the developmental periods of infancy, toddlerhood, school age, preadolescence, early adolescence, adolescence, and late adolescence. For each stage, the important developmental milestones that are optimally achieved are discussed, as well as crucial transitions that the child must negotiate during each stage.

The author impressively integrates information about normative development, individual differences, interpersonal relationships, and identity issues into a fluid and thoughtful account of the development of a bipolar spectrum illness over the course of childhood and adolescence. Concepts are illustrated using detailed case examples and formulations that help the reader integrate and consolidate the information presented. Part II concludes with a detailed explanation of disorders that commonly accompany bipolar disorder and how the co-occurrence may affect development, prognosis, and treatment.

Part III discusses the various treatment options available to children with bipolar disorder and their families. Different kinds of providers are discussed, as well as the types of therapy (individual, group, and family) that are used and how these therapies work to alleviate the suffering of children with bipolar disorder and their families.

This book is highly recommended as an excellent resource for parents of patients and for health care professionals who work with children and families affected by bipolar disorder. In particular, the book will benefit those who want to understand the disorder's emergence within a comprehensive developmental framework.



--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Gregory T. Lombardo, M.D., Ph.D., is a board certified pyschiatrist who specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry. He maintains a private practice and is an Associate Clinical Professor at St. Vincent's Hospital and a Clinical Assistant Professor at New York Medical College.

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Customer Reviews

The book is written well, and is accessible to professionals and parents.
charles raps
I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand what it is to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Barbara L. Blum
I would recommend this book to parents who have a child diagnosed with bipolar.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By AdderallThereIz? on November 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book provides an outstanding, fully diagnostic view on what the bipolar child experiences during said childhood. It also provides parents, various interested peoples, family friends and so on, what signs of bipolar disorder to look for in your child (provided you/ those otherwise concerned) are concerned that there IS something that differentiates your child from the rest. This text provides the most up to date information regarding bipolar disorder in children, including a glossary of mood vs. personality disorders, as well as listing the current, most well-regarded medications, their side effects -and especially notably, their side effects in children vs. adults, and what the main goal the medication aims to assist.

Dr. Lombardo weaves interesting vignettes about patients he has encountered along his course as a psychiatrist. These vignettes are quite helpful to the lay person who might still struggle to understand bipolar disorder, as they are all true stories of real patients and their experience as a person who suffers from bipolar disorder. They are clearly written. Entirely to the point. And, most importantly, they bring the "ball" of bipolar disorder together.

Compared to its counterpart, the Bipolar Child, this text is only the second book on the market to truly focus on bipolar disorder in children. I believe it to be the best text on bipolar disorder in children because you do not need to be a doctor to read this, yet any professional in the medical community and those who are not versed at all in mood, or more broadly, mental disorders, will benefit GREATLY from reading this book. I found it to be quite profound, thoughtful and, especially, descriptive of this mental disorder.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Slonim on December 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I?m a parent that tackles family problems with books, support groups, therapy, whatever it takes. I read Dr. Lombardo?s book only 6 months or so into the diagnosis of bipolar disorder for my 13 year old son, after the nightmarish depressions, poor and nasty psychiatrists, after reading 4 books -- The Bipolar Child (twice), Acquainted with the Night, Jamison?s book (can?t remember the name), and some other book on alternative therapies for bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses, and after spending countless hours talking to parents online and learning about meds, side effects, behavioral issues.

As a single parent, with an MA and a PhD in fields of psychology and education, I can honestly tell you that I learned quite a bit from Dr. Lombardo?s book. Here?s what I found?.

The perspective Dr. Lombardo has on child development as a teacher, psychiatrist, and one who has suffered from bipolar disorder greatly enhances, and lends credibility to his ability to differentially diagnose typical and atypical behaviors in children. Furthermore, the information on the differential diagnosis of ADHD versus BP from the neurological and behavioral perspective was very clearly presented, highly informative, and points to the need for expert care for children with these disorders.

The overall developmental approach is extremely valuable because, behaviors and life issues change through development, and is helpful to look ahead to see what might be coming along. Additionallly, some of the more subtle behavioral and cognitive issues that children with BP face is discussed and NOT COVERED in the other books I?ve read ? including a discussion of the concomitant disorders that some kids face along with bipolar disorder.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By charles raps on December 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I do lot of family therapy, and I supervise others who do family therapy, and the information here has proved very helpful in organizing my thinking about the problems children present, and how parents can best deal with them. The book is written well, and is accessible to professionals and parents. I have recommended this book to parents with bipolar children, and they tell me that it is very useful to them, as well. Dr. Lombardo describes the many confusing and related symptom pictures, which make treating these children and their families so challenging. He reviews developmental changes, parental strategies, uses of therapy, and the difficult pharmacological questions that arise.

Overall, this is a job very well done. Charles Raps, Ph.D.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Simon on January 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am a psychotherapist with some 20 years of experience, but I do not deal directly with children. I was drawn to this book in an effort to learn more about a field that is outside my own. I found it to be an amazing work. In the first place,it makes a major contribution to the problems raised in understanding and parenting a bipolar child. It presents the very latest knowledge in the field,in clear and lucid language, beautifully organized and wholly understandable to the lay person. I found it particulary useful because it also deals with the positive aspects of this illness, such as the extraordinary sensitivity and creativity that many of these children manifest. Its coverage is complete, extending from infancy into adolescence. But beyond that, it successfully places those problems in the much broader context of human psychological and personality development in general. For example, the chapter dealing with saying "No" to young children contains a brilliant analysis applicable to all children or even,for that matter, to adults. At the end of the book there is a thorough discussion of the many different types of treatment available, together with a reference guide to the latest medications. I can recommend it without hesitation both to parents and professionals. Indeed, I will be recommending this book to those of my own patients who have problems with their children, even though they may not necessarily be diagnosed as bipolar.
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