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Article
May 21, 1955

MANIC-DEPRESSIVE DISEASE IN CHILDREN

Author Affiliations

Atlanta, Ga.

JAMA. 1955;158(3):154-157. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960030004002
Abstract

In 1952, after studying a group of young patients with endogenous mood disorder for a period of five and six years, I reported 18 cases of manic-depressive psychosis in children.1 Subsequent observation of these patients, revealing recurrent manic, hypomanic, and depressive reactions, plus the occurrence of similar illnesses in close relatives, has emphasized not only the correctness of the diagnosis but also the strong familial nature of this disease. Furthermore, this study reiterated an observation pointed out by Kraepelin,2 that manicdepressive disease in many individuals is not merely an episodic illness but is more a life-time process or disturbance. As Kraepelin stated, "it is the general clinical morbid picture which concerns us and not necessarily the periodicity."2 This study also emphasized that diagnoses of psychoneurosis, schizophrenia, and "problem children" were being applied to youthful manic-depressive patients and, consequently, psychodynamic interpretations were being applied inappropriately. It was indicated

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