Your Child Does Is Not Bipolar
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Ellen Leibenluft, M.D. is an important exception to Upton Sinclair’s maxim, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” As the Chief of the Section on Bipolar Spectrum Disorders at NIMH, she might be understood as having a vested interest in promoting the existence and study of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. Instead, she has been a vigorous advocate for several major studies expected to lead to results that would significantly diminish the use of the bipolar disorder diagnosis in childhood. She provided the impetus for recent follow up studies in which chronically aggressive, irritable children were followed over time. Chronic severe anger and irritability in children and adolescents are the most frequent sources of the misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents.