Bipolar or ADHD?


"Can you help me differentiate between the diagnoses of ADD and bipolar disorder?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

Attention deficit disorder (ADHD) is a neurologically based disorder manifested by a chronic and pervasive history of hyperactivity and/or distractibility and/or impulsivity.

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that often starts in childhood and that is characterized by mood swings from depressed to happy or euphoric and/or from calm to anger or rage.

Sometimes it is difficult to separate these two out. About 50 percent of adults who are bipolar also have ADHD. I suggest you see a competent psychiatrist who can help you separate out which of these diagnoses you might have.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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