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Kid Companions- Chewelry: May 25, 2010

May 25, 2010

Pediatric Bipolar Disorder ~ The Fear-of-Harm Phenotype

On a previous posts I wrote What Are Some Symptoms of Juvenile Bipolar Disorder and  Depressing Facts of Juvenile Bipolar Disorder. I promised I would soon explain about The Fear-of-Harm phenotype (FOH). This group of children have a more severe form of pediatric bipolar disorder with higher frequency and severity of manic and depressive symptoms, greater rates of hospitalization and greater likelihood of school performance difficulties.

The Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation web site gives this explanation: “Investigators were able to define a subgroup of children who are at greatest risk for the most severe form of this manic/depressive syndrome. They call this subgroup the “Fear of Harm” (FOH) phenotype. In addition to the high risk of self injury, injury to others and suicide threat that are important characteristics of this phenotype, children in this group also experience an early age of onset, severe manic and depressive symptoms, early and frequent psychiatric hospitalizations, significant social impairment and school problems.”

The eight items that define “Fear-of-harm “is called the FOH index. The following six traits come from the YBOCS (the Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale):

*Fear might harm self
*Fear might harm others
*Fear harm might come to self
*Fear harm might come to others (may be because of something child did or did not do)
*Fear will act on unwanted impulses (i.e. to stab a family member)
*Fear will be responsible for something else terrible happening (I.e. fire, burglary)

Two traits come from the OAS (the Overt Aggression Scale).

*Mutilates self, causes deep cuts /bites that bleed, internal injury, loss of consciousness, loss of teeth.
*Attacks others, causing severe physical injury (broken bones, deep lacerations, internal injury)

As we all know, early detection greatly improves a child’s outcome by setting into motion early intervention. If you think your child exhibits some of these traits, go on the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation and read the summary of the JBRF sponsored research. Check the Core Phenotype Child Bipolar Questionnaire (CBQ) Index Subscale. Investigators compiled a list of 22 CBQ symptoms and it is called the Core Phenotype. It is, in their minds, a more accurate list of symptom criteria by which to identify a child at risk for bipolar disorder.

Hello, parents of today, none of this was available when our children were growing up! Please take advantage of all the resources available with a click of your fingers and seek professional help immediately.
One day without treatment is one day too many.

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