Where to start, I have had rapid cycling bipolar disorder aswell as Adhd, since I was at least 13 yrs old, eldest son has bipolar disorder NOS and my yougest son has Adhd with additional emotional and behavioural problems prominent since he was at least 2 yrs old eventually treated with medication for the past couple of years.
I know rapid cycling bipolar and Adhd can and do present with some similar if not identical symptoms , that trying to find out which one was at the root of some of my presenting symptoms was nearly impossible task. It took a specialist in bipolar disorder and Adhd to finally diagnose my Adhd that had been missed due to my type of bipolar. Rapid cycling can mimic some of the features of Adhd and visa versa. While a manic can mimic concentration problems, hyperactivity and some other of the illnesses characteristics and traits, mood swings that can happen in Adhd can be missed if the support of this diagnosis falls short on a symptom that is maybe compulsory on a ltesting doctors required diagnostic table.
Though there is a case of bipolar disorder in my immediate family There are no family members with Adhd before me.
My son can be mentally and physically exhausting, he can sometimes be very verbally abusive and he has hit both myself and my husband ( the defiant nature seems to be more prominent when he hasn't taken medication or what benefit my son gets from taking medication wears off.
If I didn't have both myself and I wasn't hyper aware of how much his moods differ between dealing with him unmedicated and when he has taken his medication I would even say my son has bipolar disorder because they are so alike in some ways especially if a possible mood disorder is being considered.
I have probably been more of a hinderance than a help. I just wanted to point out by way of example that it isn't cut and dried when seperating the two conditions because they can overlap each other.
If you ever need an understanding ear you are more than welcome to message me or catch up with me or anybody else here
Take care and good luckx
Are you sure that there isn't anything in his environment that could be causing these problems? I had major meltdowns when I was a kid and it was from emotional distress. Also, Children may find things traumatic that an adult would overlook. Any life changes even moving, can be precieved as traumatic to a young child.
Does he have any sleeping problems? If he's not getting enough sleep he will be an emotional wreck.
On a side note:
I am pretty sure that they cannot diagnose a 3 year old with ADHD.
If he is on any medications, it could be causing it (especially ADHD medication). Maybe even look at the foods he is eating to see if there may be some intolerance.
Bipolar is a mood disorder.
My 10 year old son has a severe anxiety disorder and separation issues, along with behavioral issues. I was told by his doctors and mine that childhood bipolar didn't exist and could only be diagnosed in late teenage years.
I am not sure what to think of this, as I see so many symptoms in his behavior that I would believe he is bipolar like me.