A Note to Readers About This Blog
I have learned from some parents that they wish they had the opportunity to get my response to their comments on this and other blog formats. I am unable to do so, but want to make it very clear why this is the case. My refusal is based upon the American Psychiatric Association code of ethics which does not permit psychiatrists to comment on public figures or patients they have not personally evaluated or seen clinically. My compliance with this code can easily be misunderstood as an unwillingness to engage with my readers, and I want to make clear that nothing is farther from the case.
Compliance with the code does not protect patients from ill informed diagnoses and recommendations. Early researchers in childhood bipolar disorder often failed to clinically meet the patients whose diagnoses they were loudly braying. My diagnosing patients and giving advice over the internet would simply duplicate the behavior of these researchers; I will not do this.
Rather than an immediate reply to a question or criticism, I do attempt to address reader queries and complaints over time by reviewing evidence in subsequent posts or different formats . For example, my Newsweek article, “Mommy, Am I Really Bipolar?” http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/06/19/mommy-am-i-really-bipolar.html provoked a harsh critical response from a number of readers who believed their children have bipolar disorder. The criticisms were helpful to me in grasping some of the misunderstandings that led to parents of children misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder to cling to the diagnosis.
I responded with a “Take Home Exam for Child Bipolar Disorder” posted on the book’s Facebook welcome page,http://www.facebook.com/pages/Your-Child-Does-Not-Have-Bipolar-Disorder/100297466754138 . The “Take Home Exam” could not have been written without the commentary of an engaged readership.
Many readers have asked about the safety of giving stimulants to children diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A number of studies related to this issue have been published, and I will review these studies in an effort to be helpful and informative to those readers.
I greatly enjoy interacting with readers of my book and interested parents in person. The many opportunities I have had to do this have been exceptionally gratifying.
Interested readers are welcome to visit my blog http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-child-does-not-have-bipolar-disorder and the blog of many other children’s mental health professionals on Psychology Today .
A year has passed since the publication of the book. This year I will widen the content of the blog somewhat to include other controversial issues in child psychiatry such as ADHD, autism, medications and DSM V developments.
As always, I welcome your comments.
Stuart L. Kaplan, M.D.
Copyright, Stuart L. Kaplan, M.D., March, 2012