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Article
Can a Diagnosis Be Epidemic, with Therapeutic Efforts the Catastrophe?
Social Work Faculty Publications
  • Jill Littrell, Georgia State University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2012
Abstract

The diagnosis of Bipolar Spectrum Disorders (BSD) given for office visits has risen 40 fold for children and has risen dramatically for adults as well. Some of the growth may have been fueled by re-categorization of individuals who would previously have received diagnoses of major depression along with the widening of diagnostic criteria for BSD. Concomitant with the rise in BSD diagnoses, the number of adults and children receiving atypical antipsychotics has increased dramatically. Recent evidence finds that atypical antipsychotics cause considerable reduction in brain volume. It is thus imperative to ensure that those with diagnoses comprising BSD—Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Bipolar Not Otherwise specified (NOS)—actually share a common etiology and are being appropriately treated. This paper reviews the history, evidentiary support, and implications associated with the expansion of the Bipolar Spectrum.

Comments

This article was originally published in the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. Copyright © 2012 Springer Publishing.

The author's post-print (post-refereed) article is posted here with the permission of the author.

Citation Information
Littrell, J. (2012). Can a diagnosis be epidemic, with therapeutic efforts the catastrophe? Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 14(2), 91-109. doi: 10.1891/1559-4343.14.2.91