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Bipolar or ADHD?
"Can you help me differentiate between the diagnoses of ADD and bipolar disorder?"
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 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. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.