Bipolar Children - Book Review Of Sharna Olfman's New Book

What is behind the exponential rise in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children over the past 10 years? Is medication the best form of treatment for children diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Is bipolar disorder a symptom of a breakdown in values of society, and is it a biological disease that should be medically treated? Is the medical-model approach to bipolar disorder the most accurate explanation for the symptoms normally attributed to the disorder? Are there any repercussions from the extensive use of medication in the treatment of bipolar disorder in children? Is treatment with anticonvulsants and atypical antipsychotics advisable in preteen children?

Sharna Olfman has again edited a thought-provoking series of articles from well known psychiatrists, child psychiatrists, psychologists and child-care experts in her new book The Bipolar Child. (2007) Thought provoking, well-documented details on the repercussions of over-reliance on medication for ADHD, bipolar disorder and depression. It also documents how overeliance on antidepressants and stimulant medication can often times lead to the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Children is one of the best books that have been written on the subject and is highly recommended for educators and professionals in the mental health field.

Much can be accomplished in mental health of both children and adults through attention to lifestyle changes, cognitive or behavioral therapy, some attention to physical aspects of life such as diet and exercise. Cutting down on time spent on passive activities such as television and movies as well as changes in the amount of time teens spend on music, as well as the intensity of the music, can be of help for some teens and children with ADHD or bipolar disorder. Extreme violence in movies that many children are exposed to can have an effect on a child's mental health, as well as an overindulgence in what might seem harmless such as Disney or other G-rated movies, can contribute to symptoms of depression for some children as well who have a sensitive disposition.

Attention to spiritual aspects of life for both adults and children can also be of value. Pornography does touch the lives of many preteen children, which can contribute to symptoms of some mental health disorders as well.

Children especially need love, which translates into time and attention by both parents, family, as well as teachers.

Bipolar Children, 4 stars (rating scale 1-4)

edited by Sharna Olfman

John W. Samuels is a writer and author on the subject of children's mental health, a resident of Newark, NJ U.S. and works in the educational field.

Please see non-pharmaceutical mental health self help ideas for 199 more articles and links on the subject of mental health, including depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, OCD and anxiety, as well as autism, and eating disorders. The ADHD book, Overcoming ADHD Without Medication, is available online and in bookstores.

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