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Free Expert Resource: Solving the Bipolar and ADHD Puzzle

Symptoms of ADHD and bipolar disorder are often confused — and often coexist in the same person. How to make the distinction, and suggestions for treating bipolar disorder along with ADHD.

Approximately 10 million people in the United States have bipolar disorder. Research shows that approximately 70 percent of people with the condition also have ADHD, and that 20 percent of people with ADHD will develop bipolar disorder.

The diagnosis of all mental disorders is largely based on a carefully taken history designed to bring out signs and symptoms that, when grouped together, constitute a recognizable syndrome. The problem of diagnosis in mental health arises from the remarkable overlap of symptoms among conditions.

Perhaps the most difficult to differentiate are bipolar disorder and ADHD. Start here with Dr. William Dodson’s expert knowledge of how symptoms vary between these two conditions.

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  1. I have both ADHD and Bipolar I disorder; However, my current doctor is not treating the ADHD effectively. I am still having symptoms of inattentiveness and inability to focus and concentrate on my academic and occupational work. I am only on 40 mg of Adderall which works for a short period of time lasting only about 4 to 6 hours, but the medication begins to wear off. In the past, I was on 60 mg of Adderall per day and that work much better for me. I would take 40 mg in the morning and then take another 20 mg in the early evening hours; this worked well for me, but she is reluctant to increase my dose to 60 mg a day. I think she is afraid that I might become manic, but when I was on 60 mg a day, I was doing fine both in school and at work. It is truly hard to find a good practitioner that is willing to treat both psychiatric disorders aggressively.

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