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

December 25, 2012

Many depictions of bipolar disorder have appeared in books and films, but few (in my opinion) accurately portray the ups and downs of bipolar I disorder. Instead, they tend to capitalize on Hollywood-style depictions that may be dramatic, funny or even tear-jerking, but rarely capture the pain caused by the illness for the sufferer or his or her family members, or the difficult decisions that have to be made.

A notable exception is the novel “The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides...

June 11, 2012

This article reviews the research literature on "social cognition" (how the mind thinks about social relationships) in kids with bipolar disorder.

June 1, 2012

This is an article about our work with Oxford University, in which people with bipolar disorder took part in a 5-session psychoeducatioonal therapy and kept track of their highs and lows through daily and weekly text messaging of their doctors and therapists.

June 1, 2012
A reader asked:

My 8 yr old daughter has bipolar nos. She has been admitted to a phosp for a 72 hour hold. She is on resperidol and depakote. Are there any clinical studies being conducted that she can participate in?. We are in los Angeles. Thank you!

Dr. Dave:

Yes, there are several clinical/treatment studies she may be eligible for. Please contact Brittany Matkevich at the UCLA CHAMP clinic at (310) 825-2836 and let her know we...

March 16, 2012
A reader asked:

After 3 years of medications for bipolar with ADD daughter 17 1/2 is still not stable with the recent addition to lithium, seroquel and trileptal. Is there a place where she can get physically and medically stable....she is exhibiting signs of toxcitiy to lithium, but not finding help...where is the best place to monitor which meds are best for her??

Dr. Dave:

If she is showing signs of lithium...

January 11, 2012
A reader asked:

Hello. I have a 13 years old girl with bipolar disorder and ADHD. She eat 10mg Abiliffy,400mg Lamictal, loette and 54mg Concerta can all this medisin been eating to getter? i worry about the concerta, can it trigger mania?

Dr. Dave:

Yes, these medications can be taken together. Any of the stimulants, including Concerta, can trigger mania (even among people who don't have bipolar disorder) but usually it's safe as...

December 23, 2011
A reader asked:

How do you differentiate grandiose thoughts associated with mania from unusual thoughts and emotional dysregulation associated with Asperger's syndrome in young children?

Dr. Dave:

There are really two questions here- one about grandiosity versus unusual thought content in Asperger's, and the other about emotional dysregulation. First, bipolar mania should never be diagnosed on the basis of a single symptom like...

December 17, 2011

The first thing to do is get a full psychiatric evaluation. This is, of course, what we do at the CHAMP clinic, and what many specialty clinics do across the country: provide a thorough interview assessment to establish whether a child or adolescent has bipolar disorder or has a condition we consider to be along the bipolar spectrum. This usually requires talking at some length to the child, the parent(s), and sometimes other family members who know the child's history.

To be...

November 27, 2011

Hi Dr. Dave,

My daughter is suffering from Bipolar disorder since 2007. She is 21 yrs. old has been on several meds. since then, is taking tegretol, zyprexa, seroquel right now.Always C/O thoughts, mostly euphoric, and lack of focus, concectration.Always has to break the semester and take medical leave in order to finish the course. Do you have any suggestions or references. Thanks.


Sorry for the delay in responding. First, I would suggest getting a second...

September 27, 2011
A reader asked:

"My son was diagnosed with BP when he was 4 and is now five. The doctor keeps prescribing risperidol which has helped the sillies but not the irratablilty and anger. I am thinking we should be doing something else."

Dr. Dave:

Unfortunately, medications used to treat bipolar disorder are not yet FDA approved for 5-year-old children. Your child psychiatrist should have an open discussion with you about the risks and...