Increasing numbers of young children getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder

February 1, 2010

More young children between the ages of 2 and 5 years are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and receiving antipsychotic drugs compared with 10 years ago.

More young children between the ages of 2 and 5 years are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and receiving antipsychotic drugs compared with 10 years ago. In fact, the number of children with such a diagnosis has doubled in that time, according to research published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Although it is still atypical to prescribe potent psychiatric drugs to 2-year-olds, the frequency of this occurrence is growing as well.

Data from the study, which was conducted at Columbia University from 2000 to 2007, indicated that in 2007, about 1.5% of all privately insured children between the ages of 2 and 5, or 1 in 70 children, were prescribed a psychotropic drug, which may be an antipsychotic, a mood stabilizer, a stimulant, or an antidepressant.