Fragile Minds is a periodic series examining mental health care for the young.

June 19: The number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder has soared in the past 20 years. Many psychiatrists are having second thoughts about the stigmatizing label and the powerful medications. Online at

Aug. 28: A shortage of psychiatrists means many young patients get diagnoses -- and medications -- from physicians who may be ill-equipped for the task. Online at

Dec. 3: As doctors retreat from the bipolar diagnosis, an unsettling question remains: What is wrong with these kids?

Today: Bipolar disorder in children has been over- and under-diagnosed, but neither serves the troubled young people who need proper care.