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Bipolar Kids


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About the Author

Rosalie Greenberg, M.D., is a board-certified child and adult psychiatrist. An assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, she maintains a private practice in Summit, New Jersey.


Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, with its alternating highs and lows, is one of the most frequently diagnosed mental health illnesses in children and adolescents. It can be harder to diagnose in children than adults and can often be misdiagnosed. While many books and resources exist for bipolar disorder, fewer deal with pediatric bipolar disorder specifically, though this year has seen an increase in titles (e.g., Demitri Papolos and Janice Papolos's The Bipolar Child, 3d ed., and Gianni Faedda and Nancy Austin's Parenting a Bipolar Child). The authors of these books, both child psychiatrists, approach their topic differently. Greenberg assumes the first-person perspective and writes in a conversational style, sharing many stories from her practice, which makes the disorder seem less scary. She describes not only the experiences of her patients but also those of her patients' parents, as well as touches on medication, related illnesses, and therapy. Drawing on his experiences as both a child psychiatrist and a bipolar sufferer, Lombardo divides his work into three sections: "Diagnosis," "Development," and "Treatment." He addresses various age groups, from infants to late adolescents, and explores broader topics such as family relations. The two appendixes and the glossary do a good job of explaining potentially confusing topics, e.g., common medications taken by bipolar children. Bipolar Kids is recommended for public libraries. Understanding would be better suited for academic or health science libraries.-Leigh Mihlrad, Albert Einstein Coll. of Medicine Lib., Yeshiva Univ., Bronx, NY Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

A child psychiatrist with 25 years of clinical experience, Greenberg specializes in juvenile bipolar disorder, a condition that affects an estimated half million children in the U.S. Greenberg explains that bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed in children as such other disorders as ADHD or OCD; the "diagnostic morass" is further complicated by the fact that many bipolar kids also suffer from these very conditions or others such as autism or Asperger's syndrome. When bipolar disorder "rides sidesaddle" with other disorders, the wrong diagnosis can result. Fortunately, scientists are learning more about the disorder, and with this book in hand parents will also become more aware of the intricacies of this complex condition. Greenberg walks parents through a multitude of "hidden symptoms," including impulsivity, difficulty waking up, nightmares, anxiety, hypersexuality, carb cravings and sinus infections. Although in and of themselves these clues don't herald the condition, they are among the many fascinating links to pediatric bipolar disorder that Greenberg explores through current research and her own clinical experience. Along with examining the challenges, the author celebrates the bipolar child's creativity, sensitivity, and ability to "think outside the box." She also stresses the importance of listening to bipolar children, revealing that their self-observations can often be key in proper treatment. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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