Max Gray CHAMP Blog

Here you will find questions asked by the public or general articles of interest on mood disorders in children and adolescents

September 6, 2021

A reader asked:


My son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Does medication like risperidone act quickly? My son, who also has autism, is experiencing rapid speech, pacing, repeated questions about his anxiety, even though he has been on his medication without interruption. We have increased it and  do not see a change. What kind of interventions are available for quicker relief of mood symptoms?


Dr. Dave:


Generally, risperidone leads to symptom...

July 6, 2021

A reader asked:Does your clinic evaluate children for autism spectrum disorder?


We do not because we are focused on childhood mood disorders.  There is a great clinic at UCLA for autism spectrum called the Child and Adolescent Neurodevelopmental clinic (CAN), which is at 310-794-4008.


April 12, 2021

A reader asked:

"Is there a way to find a therapist trained in FFT for bipolar disorder? I am located in Virginia and have yet to find any sort of list or locate a therapist trained in your techniques. Thank you!"


Dr Dave:

I do not know of any FFT thetrapists in VA, but many therapists are providing treatment via teleheath now, so it may be possible to see someone who lives in another state.  They have a great group of clinicians at University of Pittsburgh School...

March 11, 2021

A reader asked:

As a parent, how do you remain calm and patient during an emotional surge or swing?


Good question.  Kids with mood disorders, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, or severe anxiety are prone to outbursts of rage.  Rage attacks are not diagnostic of any particular disorder, but they are very difficult to live with as a parent.

First, try to anticipate when the child is "ramping up."  If you can catch the mood swing before it gets worse, you can often talk...

October 2, 2020

A reader asked:

Greetings Dr.Dave, I am psychologist in northern CA, writing on behalf of a close friend in LA, in great distress, about her 9 year old daughter, impulsive, manipulative and angry. The mother says her Dad and maternal grandmother are sociopaths but that's her opinion only. This is my question: Does your clinic offer genetic testing for nine year olds with this kind of history, in addition to the other testing that is available?
Thank you in advance. I...

May 11, 2020

For answers to questions about specific patients/family members, please contact me through my private email ( rather than through the public blog. Thank you!

March 3, 2020

Dear Friends,

The Max Gray CHAMP program provides fellowships for newly graduated child psychiatrists or psychologists who want to get specialty training in how to diagnose and treat childhood mood disorders.  We also are conducting studies of family-focused treatment and digital mental health interventions for children and teens at risk for severe mood disorders.  If you'd like to contribute to any of these programs, please go to ...

February 26, 2020

A reader asked:

I have recently had the opportunity to become acquainted with a 17 year old who has symptoms of BD. After being hospitalized for several weeks at age 15, she was unable to finish high school. When I met her 5 months ago, she told me that she had gotten her GED and was looking into taking a course to become a CNA. Since that time, she has completed the course and has been working in a nursing home nearby for approximately 4 weeks. She doesn't have a driver's...

November 25, 2019

A reader asked:

Hi. I a 61 year old male RN recently diagnosed with Bipolar I. Yes, it's true, I've been arranging my life all these years to cope with an illness I didn't know I had. Well, I've reached the end of the self-help road, and am looking for someone who practices Family Focused Therapy to help deal with my illness. I'm on lithium and it seems to be working, especially...
March 28, 2019

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong challenge—but it doesn't have to rule your life. Find the science-based information you need in the revised third edition of this indispensable guide. Trusted authority Dr. David J. Miklowitz shares proven strategies for managing your illness or supporting a loved one with the disorder. Learn specific steps to cope with mood episodes, reduce recurrences, avoid misdiagnosis, get the most out of treatment, resolve family conflicts, and make lifestyle changes to...