Thursday, October 21, 2010

Western Psychiatric Opening First Pediatric Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Facility

The University of Pittsburgh's Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) will be launching the first inpatient facility in the nation dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in children.

According to Dr. Rasim Somer Diler (as quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Lifestyles article by Matthew Santoni), medical director of UPMC's Inpatient Child and Adolescent Bipolar Services, or in-CABS,

"Research increasingly shows that bipolar disorders -- often taking the form of swings between depression and mania, changing levels of activity and sleep, and appetite disorders -- can manifest in young children and teenagers in worse forms than in adults and lead to higher rates of attempted suicide in young people."

The article goes on to describe the in-CABS program as being "designed to correctly diagnose young people with bipolar disorder. It can be hard to detect in short emergency room visits or outpatient therapy because it shares symptoms with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, pervasive developmental disorder and substance abuse problems."

The article stresses the importance of diagnosis so that children can receive treatment and families can be educated on their options. Christine Michaels, the Executive Director of NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania, contributed to the article by discussing the impact of mental illness on families, further reinforcing the need for accurate and timely diagnoses for children and youth.

Read the rest of this fascinating article here. For more information about Childhood and Adolescent Bipolar Disorder, check out the NAMI Childhood and Adolescent Bipolar Disorder Fact Sheet.

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