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Old 08-31-14, 11:49 PM
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how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

I was admitted to the psych ward after a suicide attempt a couple years ago. They took me off all ADHD meds and DX me with bp. Put me on lithium, 30 mg of zyrexa, and 2 mg of haldol 2x day. I gained 60 lbs in 4 months and had pretty much no life for the next year and a half. Finally I got tired of it and took myself off all the meds. I'm really not sure that I'm bipolar. I'm definitely an insomniac but the only time where I feel like I actually don't need sleep is when I'm on my ADHD meds. The only thing that makes me think I could possibly be bp is that I didn't outgrow my hyperactivity until very late. I was 16/17 and still couldn't stay seated in class. This wasn't fixed until I was put on meds. Anyway, I don't know if I should request to be tested for bp or what. I just really don't want to be put on anymore antipsychotic after my last experience of being over drugged.
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Old 09-01-14, 04:58 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

There are no tests for bipolar. Its diagnosed primarily through an evaluation and sometimes trial and error with meds.
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Old 09-01-14, 06:58 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

I know they can't do any kind of blood work or brain scan or anything like that. What I'm looking for is maybe some kind of psychological testing or even like the tests they have you fill out about symptoms sometimes when trying to determine if you have ADHD.
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Old 09-01-14, 09:14 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

It is still possible though not as common to be hyperactive as an adult ...I still struggle with hyperactivity into adulthood
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Old 09-01-14, 09:24 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

I guess the symptoms seem so similar that you may need to consider what combination of medications are going to work for you and then think about labels. Diagnosis can be a bit like forcing ourselves into an item of clothing handed to us blindly off the rack.It will never be the perfect fit and look. Quality of life is the priority so don't be afraid to explore formulas with your health professional.
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Old 09-01-14, 04:01 PM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

I had a manic episode after being over medicated with SSRI's, I had never felt like that before or since...

I do not have a diagnosis of ADHD or BP, I have depression/anxiety..

I suspect I have ADHD, my mind races but the drug induced episode was far more intense and I was acting very out of control as opposed to just feeling it..
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Old 09-01-14, 10:34 PM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

I go manic on SSRI's, stimulants, alcohol, lack of sleep, stress etc.

What made me figure out if it was bipolar or ADHD was that my moods cycle and are not in any relation to my environment. Sometimes things happening around me can trigger a mood change, but it's usually normal > hypomanic > manic > depressed > normal for 12 secs > manic. My type of ADHD is inattentive and I've been pretty hyper since going on and coming off of Ritalin. They have me back on anti-depressants now. The fools.

I suppose to get assessed for bipolar you go to a GP, get a referral to a psychiatrist and ask them to evaluate you for bipolar. The best thing to do is become aware of your symptoms when they happen and write them down.

Kitty if you go manic on SSRI's you may have even more intense manic episodes on stimulants. I felt wired all the time on Ritalin. On SSRI's it's more hypomania. I've still not got much control on myself but at least I don't talk like I'm on speed anymore.
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Old 09-02-14, 07:40 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

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. They have me back on anti-depressants now. The fools. .
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Old 09-02-14, 07:44 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

i believe you will find as a generality... bp would present in totality to those around....

where as internally with ADHD the majority manifest a persistent internal tangent ( which can often be more indicative of depression )

so, a primarily "ADHD" person is more prone to isolation... / internalisation.... hence practitioners keen attentiveness to wellbeing indicators.... rather than day to day mannerisms... put simply, a doctor is taking a risk putting anyone prone to low moods on stimulants... no matter the diganosis..... i think in a lot of ways the diagnosis is used to support the treatment modality rather than the underlying root causation.... tho in the majority of cases this modality is that which reflects the persons "current" need...

in other words.... it's very grey.... and the label is not as important as the current life experience... ( tho' as you and i know.... medium term / long term that corners many and styfles potential )...
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Old 09-03-14, 03:42 PM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

Thank you everyone for your answers. I have one more question that I haven't been able to really find the answer to researching on the web. I quit taking all my bipolar meds in April and had absolutely no symptoms of mania or depression until I started back on stimulants at the beginning of this month. Is it normal to go 4 months without any mood swings or does that rule out the diagnosis of a mood disorder? I looked up another mood disorder, cyclothymia, which looks to be a less severe form of bipolar, and it said the person cannot be symptom free for more than two consecutive months or else this rules out a diagnosis. Just curious if its the same for other mood disorders.
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Old 09-04-14, 09:44 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

I would love to know the answer too.
I know I have a bipolar disease (due to family history), but how do i find out if my problems with focusing are due to a comorbid ADD-Pi or due to the dis tractability of Bipolar disease itself?
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Old 09-04-14, 09:55 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

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Originally Posted by USMC View Post
Thank you everyone for your answers. I have one more question that I haven't been able to really find the answer to researching on the web. I quit taking all my bipolar meds in April and had absolutely no symptoms of mania or depression until I started back on stimulants at the beginning of this month. Is it normal to go 4 months without any mood swings or does that rule out the diagnosis of a mood disorder? I looked up another mood disorder, cyclothymia, which looks to be a less severe form of bipolar, and it said the person cannot be symptom free for more than two consecutive months or else this rules out a diagnosis. Just curious if its the same for other mood disorders.
No -- with both bipolar disorder (I and II) and major depressive disorder, it's possible to go for months or years between episodes. Some people have residual symptoms in between, and some people don't get a break, but there's no requirement for continuous symptoms in other mood disorders.

When you take stimulants, what kind of effects do they have on your sleep / mood / functioning?

Also keep in mind that bipolar disorder and ADHD aren't mutually exclusive, and in fact co-occur with some frequency.
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Old 09-04-14, 09:27 PM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

Stimulant meds get rid of my restlessness and constant need to be "on the move." They make me very focused and less distracted by outside irrelevant stimuli. But at the same time they can make my insomniac tendencies a lot worse. Even when I take them early in the morning, I can still go that entire next night with no sleep.
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Old 09-06-14, 02:55 AM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

For me stimulants turned up the rapid cycling by 1000. Looking back I didn't know how I coped with cycling into a different mood 10 times a day. Then there was the minutes/seconds cycling which began to feel physically painful in my head, while making me feel like I was going insane.

The longest I've gone without a mood is about three weeks.

USMC it sounds like stimulants aren't too bad for you. Sleeplessness can be a side effect and have nothing to do with mania. If your mind is racing at the same time then that's a different story.
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Old 09-08-14, 09:46 PM
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Re: how the heck do I tell if its bp or ADHD?

Yeah. So far I've had a pretty good experience with stimulants, with the exception of the horrible insomnia. I've tried strattera and gave it a four month trial with no luck. It did absolutely nothing. I'm going switching to concerts tomorrow to see if the insomnia and tics get any better. Really hope they do. Thanks for all the insight.
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