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Extraordinary Science and PsychiatryResponses to the Crisis in Mental Health Research$
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Jeffrey Poland and Serife Tekin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035484

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035484.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

DSM Applications to Young Children: Are There Really Bipolar and Depressed Two-Year-Olds?

DSM Applications to Young Children: Are There Really Bipolar and Depressed Two-Year-Olds?

Chapter:
(p.267) 12 DSM Applications to Young Children: Are There Really Bipolar and Depressed Two-Year-Olds?
Source:
Extraordinary Science and Psychiatry
Author(s):

Harold Kincaid

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262035484.003.0012

Scientific commonsense would suggest that very young children cannot have psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder or major depression since they do not have the level of development to express the complex characteristics of these disorders. This chapter provides a detailed survey of current evidence supporting this common sense claim. The chapter first gives a general perspective on DSM that will be applied in looking at childhood psychiatric diagnoses and should be of some interest in its own right. I argue that there are some DSM based categorizations--those of major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder--that have substantial empirical support. I look at these two classifications as the best case for pediatric psychiatric disorders. I argue that this best case fails given our current state of knowledge, raising doubts in general about psychiatric diagnoses in small children. This conclusion has practical importance, since small children are increasingly being given powerful psychoactive drugs.

Keywords:   bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, childhood psychiatric disorders, psychiatric classification

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