If the incidence of a childhood illness increased 4,000% in 9 years, you would think more people would be alarmed. The diagnosis of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder (PBD) did increase that much from 1994 to 2003, and is still on the rise. There is more buzz in the media about it the past few years, and research has been (and continues being) done.
PBD is not in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text revision; DSM-IV-TR ), which is the current guide to mental disorders; approved by the American Psychiatric Association in 2000. However, PBD is an accepted diagnosis by many psychiatrists and doctors who cite studies validating the need for it.
If a child or adolescent demonstrates “more than a few” of the behaviors below, and the parent or caregiver realizes there is definitely something wrong, it is possible the child could be diagnosed as bipolar.