Sunday, February 26, 2006

Landmark Study into Bipolar in Children and Young People - By Cerianwen Ball

A recent study by Course and Outcome of Bipolar Illness in Youth COBY found that children and teen-agers with bipolar disorder suffer from the illness differently than adults do with their symptoms lasting longer and changing more swiftly from hyper to lethargy and depression.

In this first major study by COBY psychiatrist conducted a study of over 400 patients some for over five years to determine the effects of bipolar in young people and children.

Dr Martin Keller a front liner in designing and conducting long-term studies of major psychiatric disorders says "Bipolar disorder severely impairs functioning and has a high rate of related psychiatric and physical health issues, such as anxiety and substance abuse."

Bipolar disorder also known as manic-depressive illness is distinguished by dramatic mood changes, energy levels and behaviour. Sufferers can swing from one extreme (mania, which can be accompanied by extreme irritability, lack of sleep, poor judgment, restlessness and impulsiveness.) To the other extreme, depression, this can be branded by hopelessness, tiredness and, in some cases, suicidal tendancies. These manic and depressive episodes are interspersed with milder symptoms and impaired function in a mainstream of sufferers.

The study showed that these symptoms run a longer course with children and young people and in many of the cases the mood swings were even more dramatic and switched within shorter intervals than usual in adult cases.

Many of those with Bipolar otherwise specified developed Bipolar or Bipolar II. While researchers supposed that such conversions might transpire, this is the first comprehensive study to clearly document the phenomenon.

Cerianwen is a writer and Bipolar sufferer striving to rid the stigma of mental health through writing. Cerianwen is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Creative Writers.

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