CAMH is pleased to introduce the Centre for Youth Bipolar Disorder (CYBD) at CAMH. Previously located at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, CYBD is Canada’s leading clinical and research team in youth bipolar disorder, and a world leader in the field. The Centre provides clinical services and research embedded in care. Its goal: to improve outcomes for teenagers with bipolar disorder through cutting-edge treatment, research, education, and advocacy.
Bipolar disorder is a recurrent and severe mood disorder in which individuals experience shifts in “high” moods, also known as manic or hypomanic episodes, and “low” moods, also known as depressive episodes. It affects between 2-5 per cent of adolescents, with the average onset happening between 18-24 years of age. People who live with bipolar disorder can recover through a combination of medication and therapy, further bolstered by peer support, self-help and self-care interventions.
“Part of what first appealed to me about bipolar disorder is that while it is clearly one of the most severe, complex conditions in all of medicine, it is also very treatable, and those affected can experience prolonged recoveries and lead fulsome lives,” said Dr. Benjamin Goldstein, Clinician-Scientist and Director of the new Centre.
“Bipolar disorder is also a family illness—it is highly heritable and impacts the whole family. In 2004, while attending the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association for the first time, I picked up a book about child and adolescent bipolar disorder that caught my eye. That was the beginning of what would become a career dedicated to youth bipolar disorder.
“Inspired by research showing that medical problems were associated with more severe bipolar disorder in adults, I began studying similar links in youth. I learned that there are increased rates and early onset of heart disease in bipolar disorder. At some point it occurred to me that there was a silver lining in plain sight: what if the heart-bipolar link could guide us toward new ways of understanding and treating bipolar disorder? What if the link could help reduce stigma toward bipolar disorder? Turning those hypothetical questions into real progress for bipolar disorder, and those affected, has been my guiding purpose for over a decade.”
With world leading research, evidence-based treatment and expert collaboration, Dr. Goldstein’s team—and its focus on the heart-bipolar link—is changing the trajectory for youth with bipolar disorder.