Research Scientist

Mental Health Disorders


Mental health disorders afflict one in every five children. These include mood disorders, learning disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders (Child Mind Institute). Suicide was the second leading cause of death among children aged 10-18 years in 2016 (CDC). Mental health disorders are among the most costly conditions to treat in children, costing approximately $250B annually (AAP).

Bipolar disorder can run in families. Bipolar Disorder usually starts in late adolescence or early adulthood, but children can have bipolar disorder too. Community studies estimate lifetime prevalence of bipolar spectrum disorders to be 0% to 3% among adolescents. Prevalence of child-onset bipolar is not well established due to debate about the appropriate boundaries of diagnosis among preadolescents. Children with Bipolar Disorder often have other psychiatric disorders such as ADHD and anxiety disorders. (NIH)

Drug prescriptions for pediatric emotional, behavioral and mental health conditions have risen dramatically.  Nearly 83,000 prescriptions for the antidepressant fluoxetine were written in 2014 for children ages two and under, reflecting a 23 percent increase from the year before.  In this same age group, almost 20,000 prescriptions for antipsychotic medications were written in 2014, a 50 percent jump from 2013 (NY Times)


NIH Medline Plus

American Psychological Association:  Consistent Routines May Ease Bipolar Disorder

American Psychological Association:  Psychological Science and Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents

Last updated 6-20-2019

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