View Full Version : ADHD or bipolar or both?


ADHDsim
10-27-15, 07:05 AM
Hi,

Dexamphetamine has lessened my lows, allowed me to forward plan my life and stay on target. I keep on task quite well but I'm still prone to dipping into depression for a handful of days which still hinders my ability to be productive. It has also reduced my short lived bouts of "slight mania" I feel a lot more balanced on dexamphetamine.

Now I still have a couple days of lows, a couple days of normality and a couple of days where I feel possibly "too good" and "too calm" I can stabilise my thoughts and so I can stabilise where I'm going in life and keep on track.

It's only since finding my ideal dexamphetamine dose that I'm recognising that outside of a chaotic mind and world that I seemingly follow a random up and down mood state spanning roughly 2 weeks from top to bottom.

I don't feel that ADHD is solely responsible but I don't think bi-polar explains my chaotic lost mind. I feel I have both, I feel ADHD made bi-polar worse as if it would "Pull the pin on my ADHD mind" (then again i was always lost even during normal periods) and that bi-polar made my ADHD seem worse by way of depression.

What do you think? I'm seeig my psych on Friday, it's only the clarity give by dexamphetamine that has helped me to understand that my issues go beyond that of my thoughts and attention.

ADHDsim
10-27-15, 07:12 AM
Dexamphetamine has allowed me to recognise that when I'm down and blue "good days" are just around the corner.

My current cycle is like this:
Normal happy calm productive for 4-5 days
I start dipping lower and lower and I hit slight depression
I realise it and I fight it by pushing forward with my plans and I aim to keep on task.
Everything improves, I'm going well again
Then I hit at least one or two good days, I feel good and life is peaceful, calm :) (I take on more work and responsibilities)
Then I start dropping and I repeat, I use focus and planning to get out of depression.

For 99% of the time my dexamphetamines dose remains exactly the same.

ADHDsim
10-27-15, 07:20 AM
I tried Prozac before dexamphetamine which frankly made me ok with my chaotic mind I sort of just went into a "mania state" more often which naturally felt good. I tried Prozac with dexamphetamine (doctors orders) and had a huge anxiety attack the next day.

Lexapro just made me numb and uncaring.

ADHDsim
10-27-15, 07:29 AM
To clarify my worst racing thoughts were during depression, (seeking solutions which worsened my depression by way of getting lost in thoughts ) stimulation and "mania" brought calmness.

I'm a stimulation junkie it's sad for me to say that when I was untreated for ADHD I would drive so exceedingly fast with heavy complex music blaring out of my speakers all the while feeling so calm and happy... As my profile says I was bat **** crazy at times but so so calm. I don't even know if I entered "mania" or if I was just calm and suddenly had clarity of thought.

I've never done illegal drugs ever, I've always been in pursuit of good mental health, I'm not a bad or evil person just something with in me use to make me do stupid things!

Also "mania" episode with blaring music and stimulation seeking produced the best ideas and thoughts, I become extremly clever. I don't get delusions of any sort or hallucinations I get mental clarity and calmness which helped me make future plans.

TangledWebs
10-27-15, 08:07 AM
Now, I still have a couple days of lows, a couple days of normality, and a couple of days where I feel possibly "too good" and "too calm."

Could you have Cyclothymia, or Cyclothymic Disorder? I'm not a doctor and I'm not able to diagnosis you, but since you seem to cycle between short periods of mild depression, short periods of hypomania, and periods of normal moods, I have to wonder if you have Cyclothymia. You could also have Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder. I don't know enough about you and I'm only able to provide you with my personal opinion. You should speak with your psychiatrist. Good luck!

Bipolar Disorder or ADHD:
http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar_disorder_or_adhd

Fuzzy12
10-27-15, 08:31 AM
It's impossible to say. I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder II before being diagnosed with ADHD and the psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADHD said that my mood swings are most probably due to the severe emotional dysregulation that comes with ADHD. He explained to me the difference in this way:

In BP, your mood swings are often irrational (even though they can be triggered by an external event) in the sense that your mood doesn't necessarily correspond to what is going on at that moment. In ADHD your mood swings or emotional reactions aren't irrational, they are appropriate in type with respect to the trigger (so you feel sad if there is a sad trigger, happy if there is a happy trigger) but the intensity, duration and inability to soothe yourself are what is impaired.

Dex drastically evens out my mood, mainly because I don't react so strongly to every tiny little non-trigger anymore and since I've started taking dex I've never been depressed nor had any episodes that resembled hypomania. When I started taking dex though, I think, it did make me slightly manic/mixed in the first few months but that hasn't happened again. Anti-depressants when they worked also made me slightly hypomanic and gave me terrible, terrible mood swings.

I can imagine that if you have both that they make each other worse. Also, BP too can come with cognitive impairments (like memory issues), which can last beyond an episode. I agree that depression can make ADHD worse. In addition, many symptoms of depression (or even mania/hypomania) can mimic ADHD as well.

Fuzzy12
10-27-15, 09:25 AM
To clarify my worst racing thoughts were during depression, (seeking solutions which worsened my depression by way of getting lost in thoughts ) stimulation and "mania" brought calmness.

I'm a stimulation junkie it's sad for me to say that when I was untreated for ADHD I would drive so exceedingly fast with heavy complex music blaring out of my speakers all the while feeling so calm and happy... As my profile says I was bat **** crazy at times but so so calm. I don't even know if I entered "mania" or if I was just calm and suddenly had clarity of thought.

I've never done illegal drugs ever, I've always been in pursuit of good mental health, I'm not a bad or evil person just something with in me use to make me do stupid things!

Also "mania" episode with blaring music and stimulation seeking produced the best ideas and thoughts, I become extremly clever. I don't get delusions of any sort or hallucinations I get mental clarity and calmness which helped me make future plans.

To be honest what you said here does sound more like ADHD to me than BP. Stimulation makes me feel very clear (and something calm) as well. It also makes me feel excited, thrilled and euphoric.

How long do your manic or hypomanic episodes last? There is a general mood instability with BP apparently, so your mood can swing several times during the day but for a diagnosis of BP II, psychiatrist will look for at least one episode of hypomania that lasted for at least 4 days (or is it 2 now) and I think for a BP 1 diagnosis, it's at least one manic episode that lasted for at least 7 days.

ADHDsim
10-27-15, 12:03 PM
Fuzzy only a couple of hours of "mania" and then I get tired and sleep albeit later than usual. And honestly dexamphetamine is making me mostly contempt at night so it's not happening. My mania as I describe only happens when the sun goes down (seriously sometimes I think "only a couple more hours until I feel good"

I'm getting calm and peaceful weekends (day time) since increasing my meds, are weekends suppose to feel peaceful and calm? Stupid question? I'm not use to this.

ADHDsim
10-27-15, 12:27 PM
Thank you all so much , I appreciate the time you all took to reply.

This paragraphh here by fuzzy12 explains something very important to myself that I haven't been able to articulate.

In BP, your mood swings are often irrational (even though they can be triggered by an external event) in the sense that your mood doesn't necessarily correspond to what is going on at that moment. In ADHD your mood swings or emotional reactions aren't irrational, they are appropriate in type with respect to the trigger (so you feel sad if there is a sad trigger, happy if there is a happy trigger) but the intensity, duration and inability to soothe yourself are what is impaired"

So true and I only now understand this so much more after going up in my dexamphetamine doseage. There is no trigger for the swings in my mood. I can't point at a ADHD and blame it, it's not exactly there any more.

That's what's concerning me, my world is formulated and internally peaceful. Why am I slipping in and out of depression for no reason? A life event happens and I get upset for a day or two and I bounce right back up, I don't spiral.

I had a good Sunday, just so calm and contempt with my life, Monday down, bang Tuesday I wanted to stay in bed all day (pushed my self out the door) I didn't work Monday, Ive been gardening for two days Straight (something I love doing)

I've met a beautiful woman aswell, life is awesome! No idea what's brings me down.

sarahsweets
10-27-15, 01:27 PM
Have you been diagnosed as bipolar?

ADHDsim
10-27-15, 07:41 PM
Have you been diagnosed as bipolar?

Nope, I'm talking with my doctor on Friday, I don't know what this is but I simply recognise that I'm up and down for no reason.

InvitroCanibal
10-28-15, 12:00 AM
http://m.additudemag.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.additudemag.com%2Fadhd-web%2Farticle%2F645.html&utm_referrer=#2739

That link; Is something that helped me a long time ago

sarahsweets
10-28-15, 04:40 AM
Nope, I'm talking with my doctor on Friday, I don't know what this is but I simply recognise that I'm up and down for no reason.

The reason I ask is, a lot of people who have mood issues assume its bipolar. In fact I had a thread about this not to long ago.It seems like everyone is bipolar lately. Its so hard for me, because I live the chaos that is bipolar and people who have ups and downs assume they are bipolar too when it could be depression or as a result of their adhd.

ADHDsim
10-28-15, 06:04 AM
Thank you sarahsweets, your comments are very valuable to myself.

I had a good think about this and simply what I've come back with is that ADHD is 24hrs a day. what I mean Is that in-between when the meds wear off and come back online there's a window of opportunity for **** to enter my mind and I lose focus on life again. I have to refocus every morning.

I'm not sure if this makes sense or if it's even fixable.

Fuzzy12
10-28-15, 07:49 AM
I have these seemingly unexplainable mood swings too. Sometimes if I think hard or with a bit of imagination I can find a possible trigger. Often it's just tiredness and more often than anything else, I think, it might just be a state of under stimulation. Sort of like boredom. If I'm understimulated or bored or there's nothing exciting for my brain to latch on to I get depressed even in the absence of a clear trigger.

Strangely, dex evened out these mood swings for me but it did so only after I found the right dose and the right schedule and only after I think my body got used to it. The first few months were an absolute nightmare of mood swings.

ADHDsim
10-28-15, 08:59 AM
I know what you mean fuzzy, I think we experiencing the same thing. The best shift I've done with my meds was getting XR. It's just offers brilliant stability, found it to be superior compared to getting an ADHD person to remain timely with IR, it's like a bad joke :)

Anyway Friday at the doctors, thou shall not self diagnosis. Should be interesting he's a brilliant DR. I'll post back here with the out come.

ADHDsim
10-30-15, 12:15 AM
And the results are in.

Doctor suggest cyclorythmia and has prescribed low dose lithium treatment....

This should be interesting, I think were on the right path to normality, ty all.

I must gloat, I asked for an iq test and scored a resounding 148... Grammatical errors will continue in my postings though, not bad for a year 10 drop out ;)

Polymorphed
10-30-15, 07:50 PM
On a few occasions where I have witnessed a diagnosis of rapid cycling type II bipolar it turned out being a combination of BPD, CPTSD and ADHD. Longer lasting cycles are more of a Bipolar certainty, but these rapid cycles share so many common ground with other illnesses. I'd just keep an open mind. Lithium imbalances are bad for anyone!

Please be very careful in monitoring your hydration levels. Lithium can become dangerous very quickly.

ADHDsim
10-31-15, 12:52 AM
Thank you poly.

I'm thinking about deferring this treatment for a month or so. There's one overwhelming truth that I can't not neglect, Dexamphetamine has greatly improved my mood, it has lessened my ups and downs greatly.

I think the truth is in the pudding, I need to continue my current medication as the seeds I'm sowing today have yet to yield. I've spent a vast majority of my life totally lost in my own mind!

Im coming to terms with this, I'm trying to catch up to so many years lost, I've awoken from a dream and I'm feeling a little funny at times? I need to work out my path in life, the unknown is throwing my mood around. I'm alone in life and suddenly capable of moving forward.

For what it's worth my ADHD "test score" was on the extreme end (naturally other factors could influence this)

Polymorphed
10-31-15, 06:07 AM
I can completely identify with what you describe. I was diagnosed with ADHD at 15 and it made a significant positive difference (not that I really remember it that well). I am 33 now and two weeks into life on Ritalin. I've lost a good 15 years to chronic avoidance of life in general.

Welcone to the other side! Get a psych to help guide you in developing the skills to modify your behavior and mentality and you will really get the most out of life.

Polymorphed
11-01-15, 11:38 PM
Did you know that 25% of patients diagnosed with BPD (this figure realistically should be a lot higher as it is an under-diagnosed disorder) have found to have comorbid ADHD. This is compared to 5% of ADHD diagnoses for the rest of the public.

The reason I mention this is because responding to DEX is diagnostic. You clearly have ADHD. Anyone with ADHD, poor sleep/diet or a stressful life will exhibit mood-swings to some extent. With BPD, however, there will usually be a lot more triggers and the response to them will be much more dramatic than ADHD alone. That being said, some people with ADHD still exhibit a lot of the behavioural symptoms of ADHD while conforming to a therapeutic dose of DEX; this is because retraining the mind is a part of a successful approach to treatment. DEX might buy you time to bite your tongue or reflect before acting, but if something triggers you, you will still have to choose how to react.

If you are irritable and or anxious (find the downer after a day on DEX too difficult to relax/wind down) while affected by DEX, then it might pay to speak to your GP/Psych about combining with a sympatholytic drug like Guanfacine. Or you could take it upon yourself to combine with supplements like L-Theanine or Nootropics that also reduce negative side effects, like Aniracetam.

Sometimes when I reflect on times when I was unmedicated and really not coping, you could easily have diagnosed me with ... well something haha It's not unusual for people with ADHD who are highly strung (for whatever reason) to have fairly out of control emotional responses to triggers.

Take care

ADHDsim
11-02-15, 12:01 AM
Thank you very much poly.

It's a confusing game but one I hope to win, I'm still deciding if I should start lithium treatment or not. The statistics you included were very beneficial as I could not find anything regarding that.

Long story short I'm just everything rolled into one, I know there's something odd about me dex has done wonders but something that's always been lurks in the corridors. I'm hoping it's simply blow back from years of untreated ADHD but my problems have to come to an end some day.

I require normality, it may just be my past experiences that restrict me from holdingonto it. I need to keep moving, forget my problems and see where life takes me. I need to know it's beyond my thoughts, that it is biology and not environment before proceeding with treatment.

I fear my doctor is correct, but how can he be when I'm feeling good at the moment.... And the stupidity continues...

Much thanks again.

Polymorphed
11-02-15, 11:10 PM
Here is a reference I found to support some of the things I've said and provide way more insight: http://www.bpded.com/content/pdf/2051-6673-1-3.pdf.

Edit: There once was a paragraph here that said something that made sense leading into the second paragraph, but I deleted it without noticing somehow!

Particularly if the mood arrhythmia is more chaotic and more frequent. Also the absence of symptoms like grandiosity is usually enough to warrant a look into BPD. I simply find the inter-relatedness interesting because, while there are quite a lot of very educated guesses and respected hypotheses, we don't understand anywhere everything about BPD yet. There are hypotheses in circulation (explored in the reference I linked) that some of the genetic mutations underpinning ADHD could be somehow responsible for a significant increase in later life BPD diagnoses.

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to encourage a self-diagnosis of BPD. I simply feel it is a disorder that anyone should at least investigate if they are looking at possible Bipolar with ADHD. Childhood trauma/s are generally accepted to be the main cause of BPD. How can you define trauma though, when individual perceptions and reactions are completely personal and subjective. Circumcision is now known to be associated with a significant increase in adult mood disorders (especially chronic depression). Separation anxiety could be another common link.


In any case, I think both you and your Dr are correct. CBT is known to be very effective in reprogramming/managing the behavioral habits formed over a lifetime of unmedicated ADHD. The pills lessen the ADHD physiological disadvantage, allowing you to have a fairer chance at achieving the goal of living a balanced life.

Having picked up on some of the DBT strategies my wife relies on for her BPD symptoms, I can personally say that they are helpful for my ADHD too. I'm far from an expert at DBT though. It has quite a lot of spirituality underlying it that can put a lot of people off (myself included), but its worth being open minded towards, as certain breathing and relaxation techniques are scientifically understood to engage the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest system).

Anytime, by the way.

Cheers :cool:

Thank you very much poly.

It's a confusing game but one I hope to win, I'm still deciding if I should start lithium treatment or not. The statistics you included were very beneficial as I could not find anything regarding that.

Long story short I'm just everything rolled into one, I know there's something odd about me dex has done wonders but something that's always been lurks in the corridors. I'm hoping it's simply blow back from years of untreated ADHD but my problems have to come to an end some day.

I require normality, it may just be my past experiences that restrict me from holdingonto it. I need to keep moving, forget my problems and see where life takes me. I need to know it's beyond my thoughts, that it is biology and not environment before proceeding with treatment.

I fear my doctor is correct, but how can he be when I'm feeling good at the moment.... And the stupidity continues...

Much thanks again.

GigiBlue
11-14-15, 12:38 AM
Hey all, i'd like to add my story. Apologies in advance for the lengthiness. I'm new to the ADD/BPD diagnosis (tho I've long suspected something) and it's amazing how many of you sound so very similar to me. I'm 30, and had no idea I was severely ADD until I saw a psychiatrist (1st time) in Sept, as well as bipolar in May.

Symptoms: I've been described numerous times as always having one foot in the door and one foot out. Absent-minded. Flakey. Cold. Intimidating. Careless. Emotionless. No conversational boundaries. No filter. Always saying exactly what I think. Which none of these things ever made sense to me? I have very poor sense of self, and tend to mimic whomever I'm talking to. I lack social stamina and prefer to isolate for long periods of time. I don't sleep much. I can read other's emotions, but I have no idea how to deal with them. Never can stay focused on one thing at a time. Always daydreaming, lost inside my head. I avoid and procrastinate like it's my job. I can hyperfocus (or is it hypo?) on one thing and obsess one thing for a loooooong time. The longest obsession being 13 years. Still continues to be. But in relationships I get bored right away. Can't hold one to save my life. I have to be stimulated by something highly in depth. Small talk does not work with me. I read a lot of non-fiction. I fidget constantly. Pull on my hair. Play with my hair until my wrists and arms hurt. I tend to do 3 things at once. One thing at a time is hard unless I really really really enjoy it. But there's not a lot of those things.

Moods differ from day to day. I go from loving everyone making friends with anyone I encounter (which isnt often) to hating everyone and everything and isolating for days/weeks. I can get depressed over the tiniest thing. Getting me super happy is the big challenge. I "drop off the face of the earth" very often with friends and even family. I fantasize about suicide, though I've never tried to. I'm generally unhappy with myself. Though people tell me I seem fine, i'm fun, im good looking, i'm in excellent shape. I'm smart. None of it makes me happy. I'm chronically dissapointed and dissatisfied. Very impatient with a shorter than short fuse. I don't feel love for the most part. I can *know* when someone loves me, but I don't feel it.. If that makes any sense??

Triggers: Sounds and emotions mostly. Noises like wet sounds. High pitches. People eating. Heavy breathing. Snoring. Humming. Whispering. Laughing at times as well. Tone of voice. People staring at me for too long. People showing a lot of emotion. People having expectations of me. I get extremely irritable and agitated easily. Sometimes for no reason at all, other than someone makes me snap out of my head. Relationships trigger everything wrong in me. I've been violent before, as a kid I was very mean and a bully.

NOW after seeing the docs and going through the long drawn out questioning/going over my history, I was diagnosed as bipolar (neither specified if it was I or II) and ADD. I'm not manic.. I don't think? Not a big spender. But when triggered, I'm highly promiscuous and careless. I get so blindly angry I endanger my life and others (rare). Someone almost cut me off of the middle of the interstate and I trailed their bumper doing 110 for a half hour straight and did not care if I or they got hurt. They had kids in the car. When I get angry, it's scary.

Meds: Lamictal 200mg and Lexapro 5mg since May, 45mg IR Adderall since Sept. No big issues so far.. I do feel a bit numb and I was fuzzy in the beginning, but now I feel stable and my moods tend to stay in a safe medium. Sure, I still explode out of nowhere, but its less and less frequent. The depression has really softened. I still have it, slightly. But its nothing like it was. The Adderall is what has really made a huge difference. I can focus, I can finish tasks. But the side affects are real. Insomnia, loss of appetite (lost 15 pounds in a month) I crash suuuper hard as well. Headaches. Extreme sensitivity to sound. But when I don't take it, I cannot focus for sh*t. I pull my hair even more. I zone out right back to la la land.

So... All things considered, I'm doing much better. But its only been a few months. I can empathize now. I can handle people. I don't get as easily annoyed.. I'm more social. I'm clear-headed and motivated. I don't know if it will last long, as is the story of my life!

Feel free to add input and opinions. At this point, i'm in desperate search of anyone who can relate. .

Kreeny62
10-31-17, 05:29 PM
I'm 55 now but was diagnosed firstly with BP in 2008 and too Epilum for around 6mths but didn't like the flat I felt and others picked this up I also took Effexor for depression/anxiety disorder. The Effexor, I thought was making no difference to my some times depressive thoughts. My anxiety and panic attacks were treated with Xanax which made me feel 'normal' or like others,able to sit, paint or just talk with a 'filter' lol! Also aware of their addictive nature so dose has been no more than 1mg a day.
5 years ago, I wanted to study and couldn't read a book let alone study. My Psych gave me my first script for Dex and told me I could possibly have ADHD!! Life changing moment and felt for the first time in my life I could focus and control my impulsive erratic behaviour... But what I found with Dex was if you forgot a dose or were late my behaviours came back so I'd have friends say 'have you taken your lunchtime Dex' as I'd be talking too much or distracted also night time my ADHD head was back and I'd be up till 3 watching Seasons of shows on Netflix!
12mths ago I was given a script for vyvanse (slow release Dex 12hr life) for my ADHD and now feel I don't have that big shift during the day. Life has still been crazy and I still felt very anxious, agitated much of the time but blamed ADHD. New Dr changed Effexor to Lexapro but after 6 mths still the same. New Psychiatrist (moved) tried Prozac which was worse again.
2 months ago my new (moved again) Psychiatrist looked at me and said were gonna try something different. He prescribed Valdoxan, new AD but can stop whenever and less side effects as others. He also mentioned Cyclical Mood Disorder to me, never heard of this. Anyway after a month of terrible anxiety and only real relief has been Xanax.
Yesterday at my Dr appointment I was officially diagnosed with Cylothymia or Cyclical Mood Disorder!!!! I was glad tttt cause the last 10yrs has been hell for me but mainly for others. So Dr explained that the Anti Dep exacerbates the moods, hence so much anxiety and up downs I feel. He stopped any more AD and has prescribed Lithium 250mg @ night to start, with blood test in 10 days as can effect kidney and levels can be toxic.
I know I have only taken 1 tab but I can tell already my anxiety has lessened by the way I woke this morning and my normal foot twitch is weaker this morning. Haha Once my moods are stable I will need to attend a Rehab Clinic to come off Xanax and retrain my brain lol.
I'm actually happy about this diagnosis, it explains so much and I've isolated myself from friends and family because my actions and mouth cause so much hurt. I've stopped all of my creative interests, stopped going out socially and avoided relationships.
Maybe in a couple of months I'll be able to open up about my mental health to them and try and mend some broken pieces. Hope this is of help ✌🏼️🐿😃 Karina