Do you think pediatric bipolar is a thing?

I know that psychiatrists say it’s a thing, but whenever someone starts talking about the laundry list of meds their bipolar nine year old is on I can’t help but roll my eyes. It just seems like profound diseases like schizophrenia or bipolar shouldn’t be diagnosed earlier than adolescence because for one the diseases are so complex that it would take an adolescent/adult to fully understand their own symptoms (much less describe them to a doctor) and because there is no need to label a child with a life-long chronic illness when it could easily remiss.

I am NOT denying that children can have serious psychiatric problems, I have seen it myself, but I’m just not sure where I stand about calling it a chronic illness so early and about young children taking heavy medications with serious side effects. I think maybe it should be called something else entirely, rather than pediatric bipolar or schizophrenia. What do you think?


I am of the belief that it takes many years to come to a full diagnosis. I was in the hospital when I was 15 and on medication for a brief period of time. There was something wrong but I believe it took 15 years to fully diagnose me. I am in my 50’s now.

1 Like

It’s very rare to be diagnosed with pediatric sz or bp. The child must have serious symptoms.


But even then I think it should be called a different name because at the early stage in someone’s life it is harmful to label them as forever ill, which is the connotation of the bp and sz diagnoses.

I understand your thinking. I honestly believe that if I was medicated sooner things would be better for me right now, and if he does have bp or sz or sza, he does indeed have a lifelong illness, no different label can change that.

I know pdocs don’t diagnose kids with mental illness lightly.

I’m in memory therapy at the moment so tend to very connected to my childhood at the moment. Wondering lately if the reason I’ve some sort control of my manic moods is because I had it mostly beaten the crap out of me as a kid.

I’ve had memories of psychosis as a kid. I know I had depression as well. So fail to why mania wouldn’t be present in childhood. Think it would be more controlled in childhood as parents come crashing down on it like a ton of bricks.

So I do think there is and always has been evidence of mental illness in some children growing up. I don’t agree on putting young kids on medication, but I do agree in putting them in therapy.

1 Like

That kid didn’t reach puberty yet. And got him on all of that medication. Wait and see if the kid has severe problems before popping pills.

When I was little. I knew I was different and weird and not normal but I handled that ■■■■ like a champ. Give the kid a chance.

In my girl friend’s family, there’s a kid you know. And his bad behavior is affecting a lot of people. Maybe we’d be better putting him in jail?


I’m not saying there shouldn’t be treatment or that it shouldn’t even be regarded as a mental illness, but I feel like labeling a child with a life-long condition when it could very well remiss is unethical.