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  #16  
Old 09-10-14, 04:04 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

BP is a mood thing - ADD is a cognitive thing.

There would be signs if you were prone to BP if you've been taking stimulants - they would make you more unstable even on a low dose - like Fractured talks about.

You may need less stimulant to find the same balance as before.
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  #17  
Old 09-11-14, 11:37 PM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

Right now, I'm using a 2.5mg Ritalin twice a day/lots of caffeine/ 5mg Buspirone twice daily.

No mood stabilizers, No rapid cycling.

Is this sustainable in any way?
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Old 02-01-15, 08:58 PM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

This is an interesting thread. I find myself in a similar situation. A couple of years after the initial ADD diagnosis I find myself recovering from an ADD treatment program that set off an extended manic episode which led to the discovery and subsequent diagnosis of BPD. I now am wondering whether either of the two diagnosis was absolutely correct and if in fact I'm somewhere along the pendulum and am more of an ADD who needs a less powerful stimulant so as to not induce the manic reaction.

It's a narrow tightrope to walk, but hopefully you have some good support to help you through it. I agree that the labels are less important and the symptoms should be identified correctly and treated.
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Old 02-03-15, 05:47 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

I've found that for me they cross over.
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  #20  
Old 02-05-15, 03:52 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

I asked my doc this and he said the short answer was that it is very hard. He is a differential specialist in regards to bipolar and adhd.

He gave me some research on it and the general studies in regards to determining their differences.

One of the main aspects is intensity. Everyone has a bad day, adhd individuals are sensitive as well and can have emotional outbursts from time to time. But thats where the similarity ends with bipolar people. Bipolar individuals can experience an emotion for months. It can be very intense.

The second element is mood incongruency. An example would be this. "Normal person: I just won the lottery...im so happy!!"
"Bipolar Person: I just won the lottery...i'm so depressed"

If the mood doesnt match the situation and is very extreme and lasting versus transient than this is a symptom of bipolar and would typically classify as a hypomanic or depressive state.

Usually with bipolar, you sort of feel like you are on a roller coaster, you can feel the peaks coming but you know what's coming after that will be a crash. The going up takes months or sometimes years and so does the going down sometimes but usually the down happens faster than the up.

Mostly bipolar has unexplained emotions and fixations. Bipolar people describe what sounds like hyperfocus but looks more like addiction or ocd. They can obssess for months or years about one subject and it can be very odd or normal. Then they just abandon it one day.

That last symptom can show up in adhd as well but it's generally about looking as the gestalt or whole picture.

I would caution though that bipolar people tend to over rationalize their symptoms. This is because the trigger may seem apparent for their particular emotional state but their reaction can be overt and extreme.

An example would be "I'm not bipolar, I was just going through a period of depression/agitation because everyone at work was conspiring against me/gossiping/looking down on me, but now im fine and it's clear skies ahead."

This can be classic bipolar denial as it fails to take into account previous cyclical episodes and history. We often look at the small to change our diagnosis and therefore seek treatment only for the things we see. In other words "im depressed and anxious doc, I also find myself obssesing over things." 6 months later and "I'm not depressed anymore, why do you keep pushing meds on me doc? Cant you see im better, I just need meds for my adhd now, its become really hard to focus lately."

So all in all to summarize it, the differences are in the changes over time. One day you are adhd, the next you are ocd the next you are depressed or all of the above. You find yourself agitated or on top of the world and then crashing to a deep low and its usually by the seasons. You find yourself with endless energy in the summer and no energy in the winter. You want to move and often. You change jobs, change houses, states, cities every 3 years often on a whim. You have rash out of place behavior. You make lots of friends for a few months but you know you will lose them all in a few more months. You feel super smart one month or year and then super dumb another month or year.

Anyways hope that helps
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  #21  
Old 02-05-15, 04:12 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

In regards to meds, I personally found that I just needed to stabilize myself with lithium which took large doses of lithium followed by titrating off and then going on lamotrigine which is an anti seizure maintinance med and lurasidone for the depressive symptoms.

It could have just been me but I think most bipolar symptoms, depending on the type are episodic and happen due to kindling. Which is essentially when the brain has no brakes to calm itself down.

This is usually why when you go to a hospital they overmedicate you. They give what are known as antimanic doses. The unfortunate result is that it scares bipolar people away from all medications in general but once you knock out the mania the only real thing you have to worry about is reducing life stress, triggers, and taking meds that prevent your system from going into another hyperexcitation mode/kindling.

The depressive symptoms used to have no true specific med and it was the hardest to treat as depression can still and often does occur even after one is stable. Luckily there is latuda which seems to work well but the price is insane.

Lamotrigine works very well for me over all at 200mgs and it took a year to get there by going up 25mgs every month. It's not always a first line med because it takes so long to titrate but the studies seemed to show that the slower you go, the more successful the treatment results in regards to maintinance.

Treating mania is the opposite.

It's unfortunate that some doctors simply keep their patients at anti manic doses without first trying the maintinance approach but it is a tricky thing because the more episodes an individual has, the harder they become to treat.

If treated early on, bipolar can be managed rather easily compared to later on. This is because bipolar is theoretically a seizure disorder in the same family as epilepsy. This is also why the seasons and specifically light spectrum changes seem to trigger it. Without treatment bipolar disorder becomes a progressive disease that can reach the levels of catatonia on the lows and psychosis on the highs.

This is why most doctors fear the maintinance approach..but it works for me because I was diagnosed earlier than most.

So in that regards I would suggest for your long term health that if you think you are bipolar, that you do everything possible to find out for sure and get treatment. Whatever it may be. Long term lithium doses are better than the alternatives and it's not easy hearing about these things but I always feel its vital to stress early treatment while it is still manageable.

Whatever you choose, I wish you luck
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Old 02-06-15, 08:22 PM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

Was told I was manic depressive at 19, now they call me "unipoloar", either way I am not sure myself when I am having an ADD moment or if it me being either depressed, or I am reacting to something in the same way that non-diagnosed people would.

It is a tough battle.
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Old 02-08-15, 01:26 PM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

Thank you! That did help a lot.
They finally figured it out and diagnosed me with mood disorder, not otherwise specified. So I do have some symptoms of bipolar but not enough to warrant a diagnosis.
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Old 02-09-15, 02:35 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

Glad to hear you have some answers. Wish you the best.

This might help anyone else who was wondering, it's something my doc wrote.

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/2511.html
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Old 02-09-15, 03:25 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

@ InvitroCanibal:

I think you may be confused about Bipolar and epilepsy being theoretically in the same family.

I found what you were referring to:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20675967

And to my understanding, it's saying that mood disorders are a frequent comorbidity in those who suffer from epilepsy.

Not that they're in the same family.
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Old 02-12-15, 02:26 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaVita View Post
@ InvitroCanibal:

I think you may be confused about Bipolar and epilepsy being theoretically in the same family.

I found what you were referring to:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20675967

And to my understanding, it's saying that mood disorders are a frequent comorbidity in those who suffer from epilepsy.

Not that they're in the same family.
I apologize for not having research, it's just what my doc said his theory was and what he was taught in med school.

It's sort of why I wrote in "theoretically"
I typically take his word on most things because he's very good at what he does and his job is his life so he researches quite a bit. He's also one of the top specialists in the country according to psych mag so I sort of just blindly believe most things he says at this point...which is rare for me.

But where or how he got that info I can't say and hearing it second hand, it loses weight I suppose. Irregardless, it is shown that the disorder is harder to treat over time. If you'd like case studies, I can post em but otherwise i'm too lazy atm.

That doesn't make you wrong ofcourse but it was just something to look at.
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