Researchers looked at the number of times children under 19 went to the doctor and were diagnosed with or treated for bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. They found a 40-fold increase, from an estimated 20,000 visits in 1994 to 800,000 in 2003. The jump coincided with children's rising use of antipsychotic medicine.
The numbers echo other estimates suggesting as many as 1 million U.S. children are bipolar, but it remains a controversial diagnosis in children. That's partly because their symptoms often differ from adults', and because most powerful antipsychotic drugs used to treat bipolar disorder were approved for adults and have not been well-studied in children.