Bipolar babies or all babies are moody? #childhoodbipolar #foodandmood

Bipolar babies or all babies are moody?

Below is my recent response to more and more parents believing their genes have given rise to bipolar babies… There is no evidence of this happening… It is more likely that something happening around the child or happening to the child  is causing emotional distress. (Why does emotional distress need to be called bipolar these days?)

“I am alarmed that so many children are being considered to be bipolar. Until recently it was considered normal for children to have rapid changes in mood and extremes of mood. If these changes and extremes happened too often then explanations were sought and the child became better able to cope. If you suspect a child is at risk of being labelled as bipolar please seek expert advice on things that cause changes in mood before accepting a diagnosis.”

This does not mean it is always easy to help an emotionally distressed child to be less distressed. There are so many potential causes. The simplest way to tackle this is to start with the most common causes of emotional distress that can be easily eliminated. I am going to suggest parents start by examining the child’s diet and the first thing you might want to look at in their diet might be colourants added to the food that are known to cause rapid and extreme mood changes. All foods with an added colorants need to be considered to be suspect. If reintroducing food colorants after the mood difficulties are better controlled, to see if it was that colourant that was causing the trouble, then great care is needed to avoid dangerous highs and lows.

What would you put as the first or the next thing to check out in a child having extremes of mood, if these extremes were becoming unbearable??

Childhood bipolar – Is it the strangest, most controversial diagnosis? #childhoodbipolar

When we wrote our handbook we researched ‘childhood bipolar’ and felt it was a bit of a crazy/controversial diagnosis. Diagnosing anyone under the age of about 21 with a mood disorder seems bizarre. Having variable moods is part of being a child. Having variable moods (in perhaps a slightly different way) is for most people part of their teenage years.

Creating the childhood-bipolar-diagnosis was controversial at the time with funding for the creation and promotion of this new diagnosis being provided by a drug company.  Check out Robert Whitaker’s book that explains who was involved with creating this diagnosis.

Childhood bipolar is diagnosis 6 in this top ten. The others are perhaps equally wacky and shocking. If it were not for the serious detrimental outcomes for those diagnosed…

Have a read for yourself – be sure to click on the number 6 (the next button did not work for me).

#ADHD and #ODD can be a way of getting the brainy ones to conform, but…

This site is about rethinking bipolar, so why the interest in ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and all those other mood disorders?

Could it be that all these diagnoses are just different ways of describing the same troubles?

Some people are emotional and some people are very emotional. When the world around us does not seem to be the way it should be, some of us become increasingly emotional. On our ‘understanding mood‘ course we share a view of how powerful emotions cause kids to start thinking too much. Unfortunately many schools and workplaces are not geared up for those who are ‘thinking outside the box’.

There is now a trend towards diagnosing everyone who challenges authority as mentally ill. In 1980 the ADHD diagnosis was created allowing children who are not fitting in with their family and school to be medicated with drugs such as Ritalin. Ritalin is a stimulant drug which over time tends to increase ‘manic behaviour’ and the likelihood of bipolar disorder diagnosis.

It is another driver for the bipolar boom

This is the article I read this morning that got me thinking about this. It is rather good:

Einstein: Being anti-authoritarian is being seen as mental illness

One American trend we can do without

bipolar children

Juvenile Bipolar Disorder 1995 - real data?

Juvenile Bipolar Disorder is a Myth

Over the years many trends have started in USA and made their way around the world. Very often the UK follows quickly, copying what happens in USA. Just think of rock ‘n’ roll, wearing blue jeans, increasing litigation…

Since 1994 there has been a trend in the USA that most of the world has avoided following: increasing diagnosis of children as having bipolar disorder. More than one million USA kids have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Although the average age of diagnosis in the UK has dropped from 40 down to 19 years old, young children who have variable moods are still viewed as children who have variable moods.

We all start life as babies who cry and scream just because we get hungry (behaviour indicative of extreme mood variability). Adults are not expected to make so much fuss. Toddlers can rush around knocking ornaments over, falling down steps and then in the same day crash out and sleep before going off to play again. A great many teenagers sulk. Many teenagers are thrill seekers. In adults all these behaviours typical of young people can be seen as signs of mental illness. Diagnostic methods for adults are not appropriate for children.

It is not possible to match a child’s behaviour to the diagnostic criteria for any form of bipolar disorder, so how have these 1,000,000+ children been diagnosed? From what I have read it seems that USA criteria were changed in 1994 making it easier to diagnose and prescribe powerful mood altering drugs to USA children. Psychiatrists elsewhere in the world are resisting these changes.

Please keep resisting. Give the kids help with understanding moods and help them develop a lifestyle for mood stability.

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