My colleague Christopher Lane has written interesting blog posts, but this interview from three years ago, which I recently noticed, raises a topic whose title, at least, is dubious.
Does childhood bipolar disorder only happen in America? The Australians also seem to think so, as another psychiatrist blogger has described.
But I wonder if these journalists and Australian psychiatrists ever heard of the advice of the great Canadian physician William Osler? He counseled: Read the old books, and the journals.
Before making such claims as in this interview, they might have read some of the classic 19th century textbooks of psychiatry, such as Esquirol's 1845 Mental Maladies. Esquirol was the prime disciple of Philippe Pinel, the founder of modern psychiatry with its emphasis on biological causes and humanistic approaches (called "moral therapy"). Pinel emphasized the importance of observation and classification, and his student Esquirol produced, decades later, his classic descriptive work. In 1854, about a decade after Esquirol's text, two of Esquirol's students (Falret and Baillarger) would describe what is generally considered the first modern description of bipolar disorder, more or less as it is defined today. What they called mania is what we call mania.