Ask the Experts

Bipolar or ADHD?

“Can you help me differentiate between the diagnoses of ADHD 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.