There is increasing evidence that there has been a recent increase in the clinical diagnosis of bipolar disorder among young people. A review of doctors visits in the U.S. between 1994-1995 and 2002-2003 found that the number of youth (0-19) visits to the doctor resulting in a diagnosis of bipolar disorder rose from 25 per 100,000 in 1994-1995 to 1003 per 100,000 in 2002-2003 with adult visits resulting in a bipolar diagnosis rising from 905 per 100,000 to 1,679 over the same period. Most youth bipolar visits (66.5%) were by boys whereas most adult bipolar visits (67.6%) were by women. Nearly a third of young people visiting doctors with bipolar disorder also received a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 90.6% of young people and 86.4% of the adults were prescribed a psychotropic medication during their visit.
Moreno, Carmen ... [et al] - National trends in the outpatient diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in youth Archives of General Psychiatry September 2007, 64 (9), 1032-1039