Bipolar Disorder Community
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329950 tn?1194801117

im bypolar and i have ADHD

what do i do about having two disorders that do the exact opposite. My moods are always changing. Im bypolar and i have adhd. my bypolar disorder is severe my mania is to the point of range, anger, and outbursts, and my deppression is to the point of suicidle. Dont worry i havnt attempted to kill myself, yet! I need some help, can anyone give me some advice
15 Responses
212753 tn?1275076711
are you in treatment and seeing a therapist? and are you on meds? I am not a doc but I feel like the bipolar medscould really help alot ofg the adhd symptomes. when I am manic  I eschibit alot of adhd. also have you had your thryoid checked recently? bi polars have a high rate of thryoid disease and a malfunctioning thryoid will give you all the things you are experiencing.In themeantime exercise like a brisk 30 min walk, eat right and get regular rest. alos keep a journal and write down all your rage and anger in it when you feel it coming on.
so go see your doc and go from there.Keep me posted ok?
Love Venora
293964 tn?1200417469
Just out of curiosity:  why do ADHD and bipolar do the exact opposite?  Perhaps i'm in error.
Avatar universal
if you are on stimulant medication, the side effects of that stuff can look like bipolar disorder or accentuate an underlying condition.
I have mood swings, have had them my whole life, but I think I fit the profile of someone cyclothemic. I took Adderall for a year and quickly started having rapid mood swings..elation on the drug and crippling depression when I was "coming down" from my daily dose. It was horrible. I considered suicide a few times a week at least. I've been off adderall for 5 months now and my mood has improved a thousand percent, no crippling lows and estatic highs. I am still moody but nothing I can't handle. I did start taking 5 htp and L-tyrosine too.
Avatar universal
Actually, you can have both ADHD and Bipolar disorder. Here is a great article (PDF file, you may need Acrobat Reader to read it) showing how the symptoms of both disorders overlap:


I personally take Wellbutrin XL for my ADHD, and when I am on the proper diet for me, I do great on it. I took Concerta a while back to treat the ADHD, and it gave me anxiety attacks. Wellbutrin XL isn't a stimulant medication like Concerta/Ritalin/Adderall, so it doesn't give me this problem.

Avatar universal
Link was helpful to me too.   I have adhd and suspect bypolar. Relations have bypolar and thyroid related problems.    I get those ups and downs on a daily basis and I use ritlin. I have also diabetis and even knowing all this is still only see one way forward!      Eat properly, No caffene, Exercize my body.   Now many might think: Easier said than done!    Yes its always easier said than done, But its not impossible!  Don,t think about it. Just do it!    You know yourself what the alternative could lead too!  

607502 tn?1288251140
Yes you can have bipolar and ADHD however many ADHD symptoms are also bipolar symptoms and the diagnosis of ADHD is often a step to a real diagnosis of BP.

In all things do not accept the diagnosis without proper testing and avoid Ritalin which is bad for Bipolars in so many ways for one thing its a stimulant and for another its a dangerous drug in its own right with addictive qualities and some nasty side effects.

Normally Wellbutrin is used for BP's with ADHD as its not a stimulant - if you are on Ritalin its no wonder you are up and down on a daily basis - thats not normal BTW and you should be speaking to your doctors about it.

Avatar universal
The lines are definitely blurred between BP and ADHD, they suspect I have that too. I have the attention span of a gnat, I can't focus on anything for long, and I tune out people talking after a few minutes. When I was in university, the only way I could pay attention to a lecture was to close my eyes so I couldn't get distracted, reading became impossible at times. They want to address this issue after I am fully stable, though I am trying to get them to get on it faster. I'm a rapid cycler and have mixed states.
505907 tn?1258372940
"Second, the moods (in B.P.s) take on a life of their own unrelated to the events of the person's life and outside their conscious will and control."
" 3.)Triggered Mood Instability: People with ADHD are passionate people who have strong emotional
reactions to the events of their lives. However, it is precisely this clear triggering of mood shifts that
distinguishes ADHD from Bipolar mood shifts that come and go without any connection to life events. In
addition, there is mood congruency in ADHD, that is, the mood reaction is appropriate in kind to the trigger.
Happy events in the lives of ADHD individuals result in intensely happy and excited states of mood.
Unhappy events and especially the experience of being rejected, criticized or teased elicit intense dysphoric
states. This "rejection sensitive dysphoria" is one of the causes for the misdiagnosis of "borderline
personality disorder'."
  Above are two quotes taken directly from the article mentioned by geekchic9. Recently I wonder more and more if I truly am Bipolar. My life has disintegrated to a tremendous degree especially in the last year. Why wouldn't I be disgruntled? The only sign of "mania" I have ever had is a hightened sensuality and  taking enjoyment in shopping (to a degree) but these things are not uncommon and are not what is ruining my life. I was originally diagnosed with ADHD and later as having Depression and still later as Bipolar. However the Mayo doctor who diagnosed me as B.P. (after 10 minutes and no background reading) also claimed I was narcissistic when I argued with his quick diagnosis. I later took a standardized test, with my own therapist, which contradicted the narcissism but I took the B.P. diagnosis to heart. I like the quote from above that A.D.H.D. people are "passionate people". I certainly am that. Everyone around me would say that I am down or "pretending" to be up 24/7. That I don't flip flop. I seem to be low and get lower. I have written in posts that others should be more positive but you will see that I do make this a "choice". You can fake it. If you're like me there's people in your lives who need you to. Please pardon the personal nature of this post. I have been without any outlet to express concerns of this nature (MedHelp has a tech glitch in my journals) for over two weeks and I am terribly frustrated. Peace.
607502 tn?1288251140
Its funny LetaB because I detest the the bit abut passionate people :)

I find that the minute I read something like tha in a document which is purported t be educationa I am aware I am reading propaganda and stop.

We are no more or less passionate that the next person and when you start ascribing personality traits you are enaging in public relations and not advoacy and medicine, I was ADHD as a child and I wasnt passionate I was a right little bugger who could be hell on wheels. My niece is ADHD and I know he parents could lovingly throttle her some day.

The problem with ADHD is you would have to go a long way to find a more mis diagnosed illness in the western world.  The epidemic of ADHD prescrptions has been ringing alarm bells for nearly a decade now - In Australia the College Of Psychiatrists believe that the rate of error is as high as 1 in 3 children being mis diagnosed, Ritalin has become the most common drug given to children in this country despite its horrendous ad risk side effects and parents are now medicating children at the slightest sign of any non perfect  behaviour.

Ritalin is now a street drug BTW in AU as well as the UK and other countries.  It works on non ADHD and ADHD people as well.

Sorry I personally think up to 50% of ADHD diagnoses may be wrong and in some case very much so because its masking serious illnesses - there was a case in AU about 3 years go of a 10year old child who was prescribed Ritalin for his ADHD by a GP who later stabbed his sister 4 times - he had told the GP about the voices in his head telling him to hurt people and the GP had seem the uncontrollable fits of rage and anger but hey ADHD right, lets give a stimulant to the dangeously psychotic little boy.

The sister survived and the GP got nothing done to him.

505907 tn?1258372940
I beg to differ on the point of ritilin based drugs and how they affect us. That is the difference between "normal" (or misdiagnosed) and those truly living with ADHD. All four of my children were diagnosed ADHD. My daughter never required medicating and very well was misdiagnosed (she now believes she is OCD) but my sons did not enjoy taking these meds. At very high levels, instead of getting high or manic, they became slower, steadier, and had less fun. They complained about the pills "taking away their personality". My older son sold some of his pills to his friends and reported that (at the same dose) they got wild and giddy on it. It makes sense (to a layman) that if a part of your brain is not working correctly and you took something to correct that that it would concentrate in that region and balance that out before anything else. My youngest son may very well be Bipolar (which is rarely verifiable until puberty) but he is undoubtably ADHD first.
  And I find the use of the word "passion" to be human and less pretentious than textbook language. I believe the doctor I was quoting was trying to speak to the common man and not expound upon a thesis.
607502 tn?1288251140
I was one of the first Ritalin kids in Australia, I was in the original group and can well tell you that in the wrong dosage Ritalin makes anybody hyper and jumpy - before they dialed in my dosage I had more energy and was more hyper active, a well known dosage effect of the drug.

In correct dosage Ritalin affects everyone the same, the dose that works for one person is not the dose for another in all cases, this is why Ritalin is a street drug now BTW because it works on non ADHD people, and yes higher doses slow people down - normally ADHD but non ADHD people as well, its a type of amphetamine to boot and its dangerous with side effects including heart attacks in children - its under review in a number of countries now who want to restrict its usage and its only being used as much as it is because CIBA/Novartis pushed it to doctors like no toomorrow in the 80's and 90's marketing it aggressively through the media and public relations as a wonder drug with PR driven miracle cure stories on shows like 60 Minutes - they have very succesfully supressed much of the bad news about the drug in the US and some other countries by a positive spin campaign.

Dont get me wrong - ADHD is real and it exists, there are  significant portion of Bipoplars who are ADHD as well but hypomania can look like ADHD to doctors and when all you have is a hammer everything is a nail.  I would never discount the reality of ADHD, how can I as an ADHD child do that anyway?

What I do find disturbing is that the over prescription of Ritalin and other ADHD meds hides real and serious mental problems from treatment in children and adults because its over used.  This can be very dangerous for both patients and others.

I wasnt having a go agt you BTW about passion - i find the whole website linked both interesting and a little alarming because it aims at pushing for more diagnsoses of ADHD at a time when medical professionals are calling for less and it tries to push a gender biased point of view claiming girls and women don't get equal diagnosis (which is somewhat true and makes it more alarming)

This is only a personal thing so don't think i am atacking people I just find inserting gender biases into things clouds reality - we are not male or female bipolar's we are just human beings with it.

I dislike statements that ascribe personality traits like passionate to bipolars and ADHD for very good reason - its just more of the myth that bipolars are naturally creative - some are, most are not - they are normal people and I think when we set out to create some sort of stereotype of how people with an illness behave we further alienate those people who do not feel that way, in effect we push them back into a corner and when so many bipolars suffer in silence and die in silence I think we as a bipolars owe it to ourselves to be upfront and stop trying to put spin onto the reality - too many advocacy groups do this now and it turns me off and I know it turns a lot of people off - I have met many a bipolar over the years who avoids others because they do not feel special or creative or mystical they just hurt and do not want to be seen as any more damaged than they are now, in effect the spin put on BP as something special by some well meaning groups is counter productive to my mind.

I posted this once before and it sums up what I mean  - it was written by a wine maker who is BP for the Black Dog Institute's Essay Competition :

"How many people, diagnosed or not, suffer from these highs? And how many great writers are there in the world? Or Accomplished artists, admired comedians and venerated politicians? Why this focus on the one-in-a-million achievement? You can't throw Picasso's name up there and expect the common bipolar sufferer to relate. Hundreds have sat in the House of Lords since Churchill. The average bipolar sufferer is getting off the train in front of you at Central Station. We are family members, we are friends and workmates, we tile floors, we drive taxis and we process insurance claims and some days we are in knock-down prize fights for out jobs, our partners, our families and our lives"

Now you might not agree and hey thats cool but I think we romanticise things too much sometimes.

Avatar universal
The post you made about Ritalin having nasty side effects!   What side affects?  I have none so far, But I have been taking Ritlin for only two years.   Also how does someone tell if I have bp or not since adhd and bp have similarities?      Even before I took ritlin I still had bouts of depression.  I have a meeting scheduled with my psyk after Christmas and in that meeting I am not sure what to ask about?     But I know this much:  Ritlin makes my life function much better.  40mg per day and one metformin for diabetis.  Then I am focused,Calmer and coordinated until about 1600 hrs. After that I cannot be in other peoples company for the most part.   If I eat chocolate or other cafinated substances it tends to speed me up though and thats weird as I thought caffeene was a brain stimulent not the opposite?
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