The medical community focused on the topic of children and bipolar disorder in September with the news that there has been a 4,000 percent increase in the diagnosis in children since 1994. This increase occurred despite the fact that bipolar disorder is extremely difficult to diagnose in children. Its symptoms often mimic other, more common childhood disorders, especially attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The increase in diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children alone raised some controversy. But the controversy about bipolar disorder in children escalated when the topic turned to treatment.

There is only one mood stabilizing prescription medication specifically designed to work on children. This makes children the fastest-growing segment of the $11.5 billion U.S. antipsychotic drug market. Most children are treated 'off label'. They are given drugs tested and intended for adult use. Results of one clinical trial were revealed in September regarding the use of Olanzapine on children with bipolar disorder. It performed admirably in helping to keep the mood swings from bipolar disorder under control. But those conducting the study questioned the side effects. On average, children with bipolar disorder gained a little more than eight pounds in the three weeks of the study. Another study was to begin in September, this one focusing on the effectiveness of family-focused therapy for bipolar disorder.

The study is being conducted at the University of Colorado by David Miklowitz. He has been studying bipolar disorder for more than 25 years and received a $600,000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for the bipolar disorder study. The study will determine the effectiveness of family-focused therapy in the early treatment of children with a high risk of developing bipolar disorder. The goal is to provide enough help before bipolar disorder severely disrupts their lives. Dr. Greg Murray from Australia has critically examined the role of a person's own circadian clock affecting the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder . He has strapped a device which resembled a wrist watch on members of a group in the study to see how movement affected their bipolar disorder .

Those individuals with bipolar disorder who experienced the least amount of difference between the movements during the day and at night were affected the most by mood swings. While more research needs to be conducted, this clearly seems to link bipolar disorder with an individual's own internal clock. Meanwhile, in Boulder Colorado, Seth Brigham, who states on his resume he's receiving disability insurance for his bipolar disorder is running for city council. He was instrumental in uncovering several scandals in the area. There are 22 individuals running for the seven available seats.