View Full Version : Could my daughter have ADD, aspergers autism and bi polar??


SquarePeg
02-16-13, 01:27 PM
As you know she is 17 and diagnosed ADD last year and we have been talking about a possible aspergers autism diagnosis as well because of various issues which I discussed on this board.

She has also been mentioning for the past year the some of her friends say that she is bi polar. I didnīt take much notice of this even though she does have awful moods and then feels that everything is hopeless and there is no point to anything.

I had thought that this was because of her undiagnosed ADD and that her school failures were depressing her.

since starting concerta she is doing so much better in school and staying on top of her work without too much difficulty.

Today she has been very rude to me and snappy and when I asked her what was up she starting shouting how i donīt understand her and she hates her life etc (she has had this before). She doesnīt want to be around me or her brother so she is going to stay with a friend tonight.
now is not the time to discuss anything with her because she is so volatile and upset and will just get into a real state but I have told her that we will discuss it at the next appointment with the pdoc.

She says she always gets like this, happy for a few months and then so down for no real reason and feels that everything is just futile.

does this sound like bi polar to you guys?

MellyFishButt
02-16-13, 03:04 PM
It sounds like a normal 17 year old girl, frankly.

Edit. That's not to say that she isn't bipolar, of course. I think you'd have to start tracking her moods and seeing how big they are.

SquarePeg
02-16-13, 03:10 PM
It sounds like a normal 17 year old girl, frankly.

Edit. That's not to say that she isn't bipolar, of course. I think you'd have to start tracking her moods and seeing how big they are.
One of my bad adhd things is that I have no real concept of time. I have no idea when she had her last episode and for how long. I did think it was normal teenage girl, pmt thing at first, but 4 years on, no I donīt think so.

Mainly because it just hits her for no reason and brings her so low as to feel life isnīt worth living, she can feel when it starts to happen.

lalapin
02-16-13, 03:14 PM
I think the only way to sort it out is to see the pdoc... They know better what's normal vs what's abnormal

MellyFishButt
02-16-13, 03:16 PM
One of my bad adhd things is that I have no real concept of time. I have no idea when she had her last episode and for how long. I did think it was normal teenage girl, pmt thing at first, but 4 years on, no I donīt think so.

Mainly because it just hits her for no reason and brings her so low as to feel life isnīt worth living, she can feel when it starts to happen.

That makes me feel so bad for her. How awful. :(

lokit
02-16-13, 03:19 PM
most of it could just be put down to normal teenage moods....

i remember, school life just sucked, and it was ok, and it sucked.

maybe speak to her about how she feels about all, does she herself understand her mood swings? or is she just being teenage..... know its difficult to explain, but thats how it usually feels

MellyFishButt
02-16-13, 03:21 PM
Also, is she ever elated? Grand? Or are you thinking its primarily unipolar-based bipolarism and perhaps she just hasn't had large manic episodes yet? And it's entirely possible that its situational depression which is just appearing to be cyclical. I would also suggest pdoc but I would see if you could put her on a mild SSRI while watching her for 6 months before letting the pdoc put her on a mood stabilizer. Of course I am not a doctor, nor am I bipolar. We have several wonderful bipolar friends here who had symptoms in their teens so hopefully they can chime in with their experiences.

Hang in there, Peg. *hug*

ana futura
02-16-13, 03:40 PM
most of it could just be put down to normal teenage moods....

i remember, school life just sucked, and it was ok, and it sucked.

maybe speak to her about how she feels about all, does she herself understand her mood swings? or is she just being teenage..... know its difficult to explain, but thats how it usually feels

Yep, I agree. I was a disaster through my teenage years. Add ADHD to hormones, yeesh. I would say just back off a bit, don't try to attach more labels to her. Let her talk about it to the pdoc herself.

ADHD can look a lot like bipolar too. While my mood arcs are pretty small (a couple hours) there have been times where I was down for extended periods- but there was always a reason behind it- job or school troubles mostly.

I know a girl with BP, the grandiosity Melly mentions is a big part of it. You can easily see that she has an over inflated sense of self. I think you would really notice this if she had BP 1.

MellyFishButt
02-16-13, 03:53 PM
Yep, I agree. I was a disaster through my teenage years. Add ADHD to hormones, yeesh. I would say just back off a bit, don't try to attach more labels to her. Let her talk about it to the pdoc herself.

ADHD can look a lot like bipolar too. While my mood arcs are pretty small (a couple hours) there have been times where I was down for extended periods- but there was always a reason behind it- job or school troubles mostly.

I know a girl with BP, the grandiosity Melly mentions is a big part of it. You can easily see that she has an over inflated sense of self. I think you would really notice this if she had BP 1.

What does it look like for BP2 in teens?

I remember high school as being mostly happy for me. I also heavily self medicated but for the most part my ADHD didn't cause havoc until college when I was immersed in non-structured expectations.

SquarePeg
02-16-13, 08:55 PM
Thanks for you all your answers. No grandiosity though. She decided she wanted to come home after all but didnīt speak to me in the car. I hate seeing her so depressed. When she gets like this itīs different to when sheīs upset because something is up, ie school, friends or teenage stuff. Then I know itīs normal teenage stuff because she will cheer up, even for a little while during the day.

She hates when she gets like this because she says itīs for no reason so she canīt even try and sort it out because there is nothing to sort out. I certainly donīt want to attach any more labels to her I donīt want to let it go either. I was suicidal when I was younger, my brother is ..... well I donīt know what he is but as a teenager attempted suicide and he used to do things like cover stuff with tin foil so aliens couldnīt communicate or he believed my mum was a reincarnation of somebody or other. My mum has heaven knows how many mental illnesses and attempted suicide when I was young, and my daughterīs half sister has also been diagnosed with PTSD in the UK.

So you can see that Iīm worried that itīs more than teenage stuff.

dvdnvwls
02-16-13, 09:22 PM
My post is not necessarily relevant, and I don't know your daughter. But...

Admission: As a teenager, I sometimes used some variation of "I don't feel well" as an excuse to not have to speak to my mother. It was necessary for me to not be specific about what was "wrong", because there was nothing "wrong" except "Oh no, her again".

SquarePeg
02-16-13, 09:25 PM
My post is not necessarily relevant, and I don't know your daughter. But...

Admission: As a teenager, I sometimes used some variation of "I don't feel well" as an excuse to not have to speak to my mother. It was necessary for me to not be specific about what was "wrong", because there was nothing "wrong" except "Oh no, her again".
No this is not it, both my kids will quite happily tell me to mind my own business and stop asking questions and leave them alone. As a general rule I try never to pry. Best way of getting her to talk is to say nothing.

Fortune
02-16-13, 09:30 PM
Autism can also feature meltdowns, which are all too easily mistaken for other things (like temper tantrums, mood swings, etc).

saturday
02-17-13, 01:47 PM
It sounds like a normal 17 year old girl, frankly.
most of it could just be put down to normal teenage moods....

Thinking this way is one reason Bipolar Spectrum Disorder does't get diagnosed earlier.

She says she always gets like this, happy for a few months and then so down for no real reason and feels that everything is just futile.

It's important to listen to people. This comment alone could be indication of BP2. I would absolutely have your daughter start tracking moods. There are a lot of online mood charts that can help. Or it can be done as easily by just keeping a daily journal. One paragraph about her daily outlook would do.

SquarePeg
02-17-13, 01:50 PM
It's important to listen to people. This comment alone could be indication of BP2. I would absolutely have your daughter start tracking moods. There are a lot of online mood charts that can help. Or it can be done as easily by just keeping a daily journal. One paragraph about her daily outlook would do.
Thanks, I will look up a chart today so she can use it.

MellyFishButt
02-17-13, 02:09 PM
Thinking this way is one reason Bipolar Spectrum Disorder does't get diagnosed earlier.



It's important to listen to people. This comment alone could be indication of BP2. I would absolutely have your daughter start tracking moods. There are a lot of online mood charts that can help. Or it can be done as easily by just keeping a daily journal. One paragraph about her daily outlook would do.

Totally. And I am not happy that I just shrugged it off either. :(

saturday
02-17-13, 02:15 PM
Totally. And I am not happy that I just shrugged it off either. :(

Its ok... :)

Its pretty typical of society and its something we should try to change.

It was part of the reason why I didn't get diagnosed until I was 26, I think... shoot now I can't remember, 27 maybe.

Anyhow, my point is the same.

SquarePeg
02-17-13, 04:03 PM
Iīve just asked my daughter if she would like to download a phone app to keep track of her moods. She told me she already had one and started it but then deleted it.
Sheīs is such a dark horse and must have been worried enough to have done this herself.

I told her it would be helpful to continue so that her p.doc can take a look at it. She says she will try it again.

silivrentoliel
02-17-13, 04:44 PM
I'm too sleepy to read the other posts, but it just sounds like a normal 17 year old girl with ADHD to me... I've found we're prone to a wider range of mood swings with ADHD, so maybe that's what her friends are noticing? Things don't bother me long, I get over it, and soon, honestly, I've forgotten, so I go from really ****** off to bouncing around and being silly within 10-15mins sometimes... it annoys DH to no end how I just "quit" worrying or whatever... I really just forget and I find something to amuse myself.

Did that make sense? :lol:

ana futura
02-17-13, 05:08 PM
I'm too sleepy to read the other posts, but it just sounds like a normal 17 year old girl with ADHD to me.

I think this is the important part. I also think it sounds normal, for a girl with ADHD. Not normal for any 17 year old, but for ADHD yeah.

It might be BP2, but there are a few ADHD experts who question whether some psychiatrists are too quick to label ADHD mood swings as BP.

I would be slow and cautious with adding new meds, especially since it sounds like she is definetly not BP1.

The mood tracker is an excellent idea though.

MellyFishButt
02-17-13, 05:20 PM
Again, I had ADHD and didn't have that horrible of mood swings for NO reason, that's the difference. Unless I was mad at my parents or a friend or had pms I was a decently upbeat kid. That is what is concerning Peg, I think. She doesn't have a reason to be so upset but she still is. Not sure if that is good ol depression or ADHD.

SquarePeg
02-18-13, 10:29 AM
Again, I had ADHD and didn't have that horrible of mood swings for NO reason, that's the difference. Unless I was mad at my parents or a friend or had pms I was a decently upbeat kid. That is what is concerning Peg, I think. She doesn't have a reason to be so upset but she still is. Not sure if that is good ol depression or ADHD.
She has come home from school saying she spent 2 hours in the toilet crying (she never cries) and wants to see a p.doc. What normal child volunteers to go and see a p.doc. She says she wants to kill herself. This is not normal teenage moodiness.

I am trying to get her an emergency appointment with her doc for today. :(

saturday
02-18-13, 11:18 AM
Let us know how it goes. :( Best wishes to you both.

(((((hugs)))))

SquarePeg
02-18-13, 12:16 PM
Sorry have to post again because I am nervous. The clinic opens at 5 and she keeps asking have I called yet and getting anxious. I managed to get an appointment but with another p.doc but itīs better than nothing.

SHe has visibly relaxed now she knows she will be seen today.

Thanks so much you guys for being there for me, I know you are many miles away but believe me it does help.

SquarePeg
02-18-13, 04:32 PM
Ended up seeing her own p.doc as she had a cancellation. Has given her 4 weeks of zyprexa 2.5mg, the lowest dose. She said it doesnīt sound like bi polar and she doesnīt want to treat it as depression at this stage.

She warned of possible weight gain, I hope not as this would make her even more depressed.

dogluver358
02-18-13, 05:09 PM
It doesn't sound like just normal teenage moods, though it could be for someone with ADHD. What struck me was Peg saying there are times when there is no reason for it or nothing precipitating it.

Peg, I'm glad she was able to be seen and I hope the Zyprexa helps. Try and have her track her moods. She doesn't have to do it everyday, maybe once or thrice a week to start if she's leery of it. I have known people who do it every hour, but I think that's excessive. Maybe there's some pattern going on. How often is it and how long do they last? I know I had PMDD when I was younger and for a while out of the month I had crazy moods. At an older age I was diagnosed with bipolar, but that doesn't mean PMDD turns into bipolar.

wifeandmom
02-20-13, 12:33 AM
Mom of a 21-year old daughter diagnosed with ADHD as a child, treated for depression throughout teen years, then diagnosed with co-morbid Bipolor NOS at age 19.

In retrospect, I can see obvious symptoms of bipolar that I didn't understand when she was a teen. Some of them were:

Depression:
- Sleeping all the time she wasn't forced to get out of bed;
- Poor hygiene, although she used to care a lot about her hair and clothes (going days and days without bathing, changing, brushing teeth);
- Carbohydrate cravings
- Sneak eating/food hoarding
- Rarely enthusiastic about things she should have been, like getting her driver's license, turning 18 (which is a big deal in the US), graduating from high school
- Failure on multiple antidepressants, including Wellbutrin, Lexapro and Prozac, which after just a few weeks flipped her into . . . .

Mania:
- Changes in appearance (garish makeup, dramatic changes in hair color, piercings, tattoos)
- Grandiose notions, like saying she wanted to be a college English professor while we were talking about her failing her high school English class; saying she didn't have to do her homework because her class participation was so good she would pass the class;
- Risk taking, like driving too fast, running stop signs, shoplifting, actually meeting on-line "friends."
- Irresponsible spending;
- Rapid "pressured" speech, talking a mile a minute and not pausing for responses from others;
- Extreme irritability, especially towards anyone who tried to control her behavior;
- Irrational beliefs, particularly that her boyfriend was cheating on her;
- Losing many friendships because of her irresponsible behavior;
- Being unreasonable. I mean you simply could not reason with her about seemingly obvious things.

She was under the care of a psychiatrist all this time for ADHD. He felt we were experiencing normal teen-mother relationship issues that would resolve on their own if I would just ease up and let her learn from her mistakes. I even suggested she might be bipolar and he basically told me I was being over-dramatic.

Here's a thread I started during those dark days, three years ago, when I thought we were dealing with depression only:
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68334

silivrentoliel
02-20-13, 12:42 AM
interesting.... because a lot of those "mania" symptoms you listed sound like me...

SquarePeg
02-20-13, 09:46 AM
Thanks for these latest responses. Some of them sound like her. She is doing ok on zyprex although it completely knocked her out for about 15 hours. She couldnīt go to school.
She is more communicative and trying to work out whats wrong, she isnīt irritable and no sweaty palms (this she loves). She can only have the meds for a month.

Her doc isnīt making a diagnosis at this stage, which I agree with as itīs too soon. She is filling in her mood app each day which includes sleep, sleep quality, periods and different moods so hopefully this will give us a clearer picture.