Bipolar disorder — or manic depression, as it used to be called — is a mood disorder that runs in families and has a strong genetic basis. It is a serious neuropsychiatric illness marked by episodes of mania and depression.
Though it used to be thought that bipolar disorder was very rare in youth, we now understand that it often first presents itself in childhood, and particularly during adolescence.
Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose in youth, as it can be mistaken for other psychiatric disorders.
Child and Adolescent Bipolar Spectrum Services (CABS) at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital is devoted to diagnosing and treating children and adolescents with mood problems.
When appropriate, CABS provides these services through telepsychiatry.
CABS inpatient and outpatient services work as a team for diagnostic and treatment discussions and appropriate referrals. CABS also performs a number of different research studies.
An accurate bipolar diagnosis requires:
We begin with an evaluation to identify the type of problems that the child is experiencing.
Conducted by a clinician and psychiatrist, evaluations include:
At the conclusion of the evaluation, the team meets with the family to discuss diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Sometimes it will take several visits before we can be clear about diagnosis.
If the child has — or is suspected to have — bipolar disorder, we will offer treatment through the CABS clinic. If the child does not have bipolar, we will assist with referral to other appropriate providers.
Education is an important part of treatment and is provided to help families better understand and cope with the disorder.
IN-CABS is an integrated acute care program that bridges clinical innovation with evidence-based practices in the hospital. We specialize in serving adolescents who have bipolar disorder or who are at risk to have bipolar disorder.
IN-CABS uses an innovative, comprehensive assessment to diagnose and rule out bipolar disorder.
IN-CABS also provides:
Services may include consulting with other professionals who are involved in the child’s care, such as teachers, mental health professionals, or pediatricians. When appropriate, we can provide these services through telepsychiatry.
Coordination starts with evaluation and admission. We develop synergy between inpatient and outpatient services, targeting quality and continuity of care.
IN-CABS staff shares a detailed report with outpatient providers about the results of the child's inpatient assessment and interventions.
Similarly, our comprehensive CABS outpatient assessment and treatment recommendations are shared with the local providers.
Call IN-CABS at 412-246-6094 if:
Physicians and professionals may refer adolescents from other cities or states. For questions about direct admission and transfers from other hospitals, please call 412-624-2000.
To initiate an outpatient assessment at CABS, please call 412-246-5238 or 1-877-851-CABS.
Parents, outpatient doctors and clinicians, or treatment centers and hospitals can initiate the referral for outpatient services.