View Full Version : Anyone here with ADHD and bipolar?


LilBlueEeyore
11-26-15, 09:10 AM
I have so many questions for you guys lol. So I got my ADHD diagnosis a month and a half ago and got a diagnosis of bipolar II last week. Prior to diagnosis neither of them (and certainly not both together) were really even on my radar.. ADHD was moreso than bipolar, I went in the first time specifically for ADHD evaluation, but more in terms of ruling it out. Both diagnoses make a lot of sense in hindsight, but I'm having a hard time reframing my perception of myself in light of this new information.

Anyway, can anyone tell me their experiences with having/ coping with/ otherwise managing both disorders? I'm guessing it's the ADHD giving me hourly mood swings and the bipolar (rapid cycling) is responsible for the longer trends. Right now I'm taking 70mg Vyvanse for ADHD, started on Lamictal for the bipolar, taking 5mg of Lexapro to patch me through until the Lamictal starts working, and 60mg of Buspar for anxiety.

coffeesudoku
11-27-15, 05:01 AM
I haven't been labeled ADHD and bipolar but I definitely have ADHD with mood instability.

It's really an interesting question diagnostically and nosologically because it seems like ADHD itself can impair executive function which leads to mood swings and bipolar-esque symptoms.

On the other hand, you could just be bipolar, and the ADHD could be an epiphenomenon. Many with bipolar will have issues with concentration and focus and will benefit from psychostimulants (during the depressive phase of the manic-depressive illness).

I think the lamictal plus Vyvanse is a good combination, just because lamictal is a pretty clean drug and would likely iron out the edginess and moodiness associated with a daily amphetamine crash.

sarahsweets
11-27-15, 03:13 PM
I have BPII and adhd. The adhd diagnosis was when I was 6 and the bipolar at age 16. I treat both with meds.

Gretel06
02-29-16, 10:35 PM
I was diagnosed with bipolar at age 27. I'm now 55 and recently got the ADHD diagnosis. I have struggled most of my life with anxiety, depression and the inability to grasp the jist of movies, books, music lyrics, conversations etc. I take Lamictal 200mg, Vyvanse 20mg, Ativan as needed, and Deplin(rx -folate). I am ovewhelmed most of the time. I have suffered greatly and spent most of my adult life taking Lithium which did great harm to my body. It also numbed me out and I slept 10-12 hours a night and rarely stayed awake past 9p.m. I have much more focus and clarity. I sleep 7-8 hrs a night. I'm not doing impulsive behaviors anymore. However, I'm a mess and I am constantly being triggered about all the things that I have missed out in my life. Anyhow, I'm looking for ways to cope.

blueorangetree
03-01-16, 08:27 AM
As I know it is not the best thing to diagnose someone with ADHD before treating the bipolar.

sarahsweets
03-01-16, 12:14 PM
I was diagnosed with bipolar at age 27. I'm now 55 and recently got the ADHD diagnosis. I have struggled most of my life with anxiety, depression and the inability to grasp the jist of movies, books, music lyrics, conversations etc. I take Lamictal 200mg, Vyvanse 20mg, Ativan as needed, and Deplin(rx -folate). I am ovewhelmed most of the time. I have suffered greatly and spent most of my adult life taking Lithium which did great harm to my body. It also numbed me out and I slept 10-12 hours a night and rarely stayed awake past 9p.m. I have much more focus and clarity. I sleep 7-8 hrs a night. I'm not doing impulsive behaviors anymore. However, I'm a mess and I am constantly being triggered about all the things that I have missed out in my life. Anyhow, I'm looking for ways to cope.

Are you taking any antidepressants (SSRI, SNRI, tricylclics?) in my experience, lamictal or other lamictal-like mood stabilizers do not work without an antidepressant.

Gretel06
03-04-16, 10:47 PM
To sarahsweets:
I don't take an antidepressant at this time. I am going to new Dr in 2 weeks which is good because I'm feeling worse every day. The Vyvanse helps me thing clearer but I'm feeling worse. Seem like everything is overwhelming right now. My life is falling apart. My marriage has been bad for 20 years, my job is making me a nervous wreck. I need help. I'm at the point of giving up. So many problems for so long.

ByePolarCoordin
03-05-16, 04:32 PM
I am bipolar I and have ADHD. I was not diagnosed with ADHD until my bipolar disorder was stabilized. I think it needed to happen this way because the mood instability would have made an ADHD diagnosis too difficult to come to. When I was not functioning well and fell back to old patterns of procrastination despite the newfound stability, that is when we started treating the ADHD. I'm doing well so far on a cocktail of Adderall XR 30 mg, Adderall IR 10-30 mg, Saphris 10 mg, Emsam 9 mg, Zonegran 100 mg, and Klonopin 0.5-1.0 mg PRN. It took a while to get here.

Greys0n
03-11-16, 05:20 AM
I am not entirely sure if I am able to process what goes on in my environment via my perception of reality. I have taken an interest in drinking wine, both in appreciation of taste and binge. I have reconnected with my habit of biting my fingers until it bleeds. And further biting for the benefit of the interesting feeling of pain, tingling my senses. I am not thinking self harm, but I am aware of my increasing levels of sensitivity and my increasing levels of stress towards people who speak.
And then I decided that with me something wrong and I go to the hospital. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now I take adasuve, my doctor advised me to read about these pills here http://rxed.eu/en/a/Adasuve/ 'cause I was thinking that he wanted to poison me. Now I feel better. My family support me.

thisnotme
07-18-16, 02:00 PM
yeah but i deny the bipolar part, because i had a psychosis but it was drug/stress related. the meds for bipolar make me feel worse except lamictal but it causes too much insomnia/memoryloss so i get lamictal and dexedrine from my doc and only take dexedrine with no problems(use a sedative every once in a while).

thisnotme
07-18-16, 02:08 PM
i deny my bipolar diagnosis because i had a drug/stress psychosis, and dont see any other symptoms for bipolar. i managed to get my adhd meds back if i take lamictal which is the only bp drug i like but too much memory loss/insomnia so i just take dexedrine and now i manage my stress better with no problems.

Impromptu_DTour
07-18-16, 03:34 PM
I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. Had my first break with hypomania and psychosis in 2008/2009.. had my second episodic break in 2016 where i was diagnosed with BP2 as well as ADHD.

Scotfree
07-21-16, 02:25 AM
I was diagnosed with BP 2 back in 2011 at the age of 39. I was diagnosed with ADHD a month ago. My BP has been stable(ish) for a while now with the help of medications. I was started on Concerta (18mg) three weeks ago, and It was increased to 36mg yesterday. I'm a bit worried that the Concerta might bring on some mania, but so far I've had no effects with that. Hopefully, It will stay that way.

sarahsweets
07-21-16, 04:35 AM
I was diagnosed with BP 2 back in 2011 at the age of 39. I was diagnosed with ADHD a month ago. My BP has been stable(ish) for a while now with the help of medications. I was started on Concerta (18mg) three weeks ago, and It was increased to 36mg yesterday. I'm a bit worried that the Concerta might bring on some mania, but so far I've had no effects with that. Hopefully, It will stay that way.

I can feel your concern. All of the drugs from the methylphenidate category cause major mood issues with me and my BPII.

Scotfree
07-21-16, 05:46 AM
I can feel your concern. All of the drugs from the methylphenidate category cause major mood issues with me and my BPII.

If the Concerta does affect my bipolar, I will have to come off of It. Which would be upsetting in that I would not get a chance to see what my life would be like without the full effects of ADHD. I know that there are non stimulant medications for ADHD, but I have heard that they are not as effective. I'm not sure if that is the case or not.

jkimbo
12-12-16, 03:33 PM
Diagnosed Bipolar back in 1987, never officially diagnosed ADHD but we have been discussing ADD and my pdoc is treating me for both. I've only been manic once in my life and that was in 87. My current pdoc feels BP2 is prolly a better fit however he said I do get manic a different way, total agitation and irritability, prong to get in arguments or even fights, I can get unrealistic too, so my BP diagnosis has not changed.

For the longest time I could not find a pdoc even willing to discuss ADD until recently. They all believed that BP produces similar symptoms and its really my BP to blame. I never believed that.

tinybike
04-28-17, 11:12 AM
I'm going through the diagnostic process for BD right now. It's confounding. I guess I feel the same way I did when I was going through my ADHD dx - it's a lot of "these symptoms are subjective and I hear you but you don't have any observable traits". I was on Trintellix for 3 weeks and have only in the last couple of days really levelled out - too bad my new pdoc wasn't able to see me last week!

InvitroCanibal
05-04-17, 06:45 AM
https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-bipolar-symptoms-overlap/

I was diagnosed with both, and I recieve treatment for both with seperate meds for each.

Stimulants don't make me manic, seasonal shifts usually do.

I found that bipolar symptoms can make my ADHD meds seem as though they are not working. The moodshift causes attentional changes which can not be adjusted with stimulants. This is why treating both and knowing the subtle differences is critical.

Hope that helps, but read the article as it can help provide you information on the differences.

BloopLoops
06-01-17, 01:40 PM
I am Bipolar II (diagnosed 20 years ago) and am now completely convinced that I ADD or possibly ADHD. It is so painfully obvious, I think it has always been there but my wife feels that it has become much worse over the last few years. I am also Dyslexic and I always blamed my mistakes on that but now I see what is rely going on.
I am going to see me doctor next week to plead my case and try and get some meds for it ASAP. I am truly at the end of my rope with this crap. I have had to file with a disability at work and have had accommodations put into place. This process has been very difficult for me and is frankly humiliating in a professional setting. People say that ADD is a gift, I have a very hard time finding positives in this mess that is my head. I would do just about anything to be able to just do what I would like. Right now I am CONSTANTLY IN MY OWN WAY. Loosing it. Rant over.

sarahsweets
06-11-17, 04:53 AM
I am Bipolar II (diagnosed 20 years ago) and am now completely convinced that I ADD or possibly ADHD. It is so painfully obvious, I think it has always been there but my wife feels that it has become much worse over the last few years. I am also Dyslexic and I always blamed my mistakes on that but now I see what is rely going on.
I am going to see me doctor next week to plead my case and try and get some meds for it ASAP. I am truly at the end of my rope with this crap. I have had to file with a disability at work and have had accommodations put into place.
If you didnt have a diagnosis yet, what reasons did you have to give to request accommodations? Was this a formal request with Human Resources?

This process has been very difficult for me and is frankly humiliating in a professional setting.
Who all knows about your struggles at work?

I always caution people about ever revealing their adhd at work. In the US they can still fire you.

EYEFORGOT
06-19-17, 02:25 PM
Have both but gave up treating the ADD. Just not worth my time and trouble given that the Bipolar and anxiety are what ruin more days for me.

Multi diagnoses
11-04-17, 02:30 PM
Are you taking any antidepressants (SSRI, SNRI, tricylclics?) in my experience, lamictal or other lamictal-like mood stabilizers do not work without an antidepressant.
I agree. Iím new here but not to the psychotropic world. Found yíall while researching Mydayis, which I started YESTERDAY after years on Vyvance 70 mg Almost didnít take it today. I will post about that whole issue appropriately. Just wanted to affirm: yes, Lamictal is supposed to kind of ďboostĒ and work with another med, whether one aimed at bipolar in general, BP depression, anxiety and / or run-of-the-mill depression (lol). Lamictal has been my one constant fir 12 years since BP diagnosis. Take it! Problem is: take it with what?? Iíve tried them all and went back to basics on Wellbutrin. Doing better after a week. Then I started the Amy day is. I donít think this is a good combination. In fact, Iíve spent hours reading about Mydatis (instead of working-that says a lot!) and Iíve just realized that the ADHD meds really shouldnít be taken with antidepressants! I also suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and panic disorder. I think I need a new psychiatrist and to dry out and start over - perhaps more holistically. Oh - did I mention that I take 1 mg of Klinopin when I get too speedy or manic? And that Iím 12 years clean and sober from alcohol and cocaine addiction??
Anyone have any suggestions?? Now my attempt to help has become a cry for help! ... but Iíll bet someone understands...

sarahsweets
11-04-17, 05:14 PM
I agree. Iím new here but not to the psychotropic world. Found yíall while researching Mydayis, which I started YESTERDAY after years on Vyvance 70 mg Almost didnít take it today. I will post about that whole issue appropriately. Just wanted to affirm: yes, Lamictal is supposed to kind of ďboostĒ and work with another med, whether one aimed at bipolar in general, BP depression, anxiety and / or run-of-the-mill depression (lol). Lamictal has been my one constant fir 12 years since BP diagnosis. Take it! Problem is: take it with what?? Iíve tried them all and went back to basics on Wellbutrin. Doing better after a week. Then I started the Amy day is. I donít think this is a good combination. In fact, Iíve spent hours reading about Mydatis (instead of working-that says a lot!) and Iíve just realized that the ADHD meds really shouldnít be taken with antidepressants! I also suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and panic disorder. I think I need a new psychiatrist and to dry out and start over - perhaps more holistically. Oh - did I mention that I take 1 mg of Klinopin when I get too speedy or manic? And that Iím 12 years clean and sober from alcohol and cocaine addiction??
Anyone have any suggestions?? Now my attempt to help has become a cry for help! ... but Iíll bet someone understands...

I have bipolar II and adhd (among other things). For the BP I take : cymbalta, lamictal, buspar and geodon. I was given this combo the last time I was inpatient and It saved my life and is what I take today 14 years later. For the adhd I take adderall xr 20mg 3x a day and 1 20mg adderall Ir 1x a day. I had to get the bipolar stabilized before my doc would even consider adderall. I have been in treatment for bipolar for about 15 years and have been taking adhd meds for 13 years.
Yes, there are warnings about people with bipolar or on antidepressants taking stimulants. Thats because in some bipolar people the stimulants can flip them into mania. In some tough cases it can even cause stimulant psychosis but IME thats very rare Ive only seen it when someone hasnt been stable on bipolar meds. So saying that stimulants shouldnt be taken with antidepressants is not something I would agree with.
Congrats on your sobriety. Ill have 5 years on December 12.

Roxx1980
12-24-17, 03:52 PM
I have seen many of you mention that you are prescribed an SSRI with a mood stabilizer, and also mentions of the possibility that mood stabilizers may not work without an SSRI. I wonder if anyone has had experience with PDOC not being willing to prescribe an SSRI at all?
I was diagnosed with ADHD at about 6yrs old and recently diagnosed with BPII at 36 yrs old. I have been off and on various SSRI/SSNRI meds since 18yrs old after diagnosis of PTSD with Major Depression. I really didn't agree with BP diagnosis that was made after having adverse side effects to Cymbalta(made me grouchy and irritable and new PDOC, who diagnosed BP indicated that this was 'because meds were causing hypomania'). At the time I started seeing this new PDOC my meds were the Cymbalta, Klonopin PRN, and Adderall XR. She immediately d/c the Cymbalta and Gabapentin, Lamictal, and Seroquel, and Propranolol were added. I have been patiently working with her for over 2 years now, and have been in the deepest and most debilitating depression of my life. She still refuses to consider adding SSRI or even considering it in the future. I have been getting more and more frustrated, and after reading many posts here from others I am beyond. Is this a familiar scenario or does anyone have any insight they wouldn't mind sharing?

sarahsweets
12-25-17, 07:40 AM
I started seeing this new PDOC my meds were the Cymbalta, Klonopin PRN, and Adderall XR. She immediately d/c the Cymbalta and Gabapentin, Lamictal, and Seroquel, and Propranolol were added. I have been patiently working with her for over 2 years now, and have been in the deepest and most debilitating depression of my life. She still refuses to consider adding SSRI or even considering it in the future. I have been getting more and more frustrated, and after reading many posts here from others I am beyond. Is this a familiar scenario or does anyone have any insight they wouldn't mind sharing?

Wait cymbalta isnt an SSRI- its an SNRI. SNRI's a typically good bets for bipolar along with some tricyclics. SSRI's can trigger mania and hypomainia for sure. And your new doc is playing by the rules when saying that but if she thinks that cymbalta is an SSRI and added 4 new meds while not trying another 1 med in place of the cymbalta has me concerned. I am not a doc, so you know this is DR. Sweets with no med degree talking her but she has you on Klonopin- a benzo (for anxiety or sleep?) and the Gabapentin/propranolol (for anxiety?) Gaba is good for anxiety and used off label as such but its assoicated with nerve pain and neuropathy while propranolol is a BP med used off label for anxiety. The lamictal I agree on except only with an antidepressant of some kind. And the seroquel (for sleep or mood?) is an antipsychotic (not sure if its an atypical antipsychotic or not) which is good for mood issues but I hate it as a choice because of its side effect profile. I think its doled out too often for sleep issues.
I dont like her ways if you ask me.

I look at treating my bipolar this way: Emotions-mood-manias/sleep-anxiety.
For me:
Emotions- cymbalata- SNRI antidep
Mood-lamictal- mood stabilizer
mania/sleep- geodon-atypical anti
anxiety buspar and occasionally klonopin-anxiety meds.
I already take enough meds for other things and I believe in the least amount of psychiatric meds as possible but with bipolar I believe (for me, at least) 4 are needed to control those for things.
Not trying to be know-it-all but I understand your concerns and I do not like the plan your doctor has laid out for you.

Did you know that mood stabilzers alone can cause severe depression?(lamictal)
Did you know that antipsychotics(the wrong ones, or sedating ones) can cause depressions simply because they are better at bringing one down and out of manic episodes?

LyrinMeow
04-27-18, 09:24 PM
I've had bipolar symptoms since I was 16. Didn't get it diagnosed until around 27. I (barely) managed to survive that long unmedicated. Also got the GAD diagnosis around that time. And I don't get nice mania unless it's med induced (screw you lamictal). I get dysphoric mania. Since then I've run through maybe 100 medications. Currenty on celexa (antidepressant), Elavil (antidepressant), geodon (anti psychotic) (not sure how much I like this one, might ask for a change up next visit), klonnopin (benzo), ambien (fancy sleepy benzo), ativan (yes another benzo), and zanaflex (muscle relaxer, YAY ANOTHER SEDATIVE). Really high, max, or above max dosages on all of them.

Diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type little over a year ago. Currently on 40mg 2x a day adderall. It does not make me manic and actually sedates me.

I'm sedated for your safety. :D

I survived over 10 years with very nasty unmedicated bipolar. The ADHD was like, oh, just tack it onto my list, whatever. You can't stop me!

The best part of a diagnosis is that.... nothing actually changed. You're still you with the same problems. The drugs part is better(ish). But I won't share horror stories. lol

Just get the right meds and therapies and you'll do alright.

Pro tip. I always do my research. I come to my appointments prepared with whatever symptom list, drug information, dosage requirements, or medication change requests I need. Get a good psychiatrists who listens to you.

Best of luck.

psychopathetic
04-27-18, 10:51 PM
May I ask you why you didn't like Lamictal?
I swear by the stuff personally. Works like a charm on me! I haven't had any noticeable side effects, but I know it works because I don't hit real dark lows when I'm taking it. Best med I've ever used to treat my non-adhd stuffs.

The best part of a diagnosis is that.... nothing actually changed. You're still you with the same problems. The drugs part is better(ish).

I love having a proper diagnosis...besides the fact that it gives you (and anyone helping you) a better understanding of what's going on...and how to treat it...but it's just damn nice having a name for what's going on with me. Like I went my whole life knowing 'something' was going on with me...and I felt SOOO alone in my suffering. No one could ever possibly relate to me.
Then I was diagnosed with ADHD, and after a bit of research I bumped into this forum and it's like...holy ****! There's a TON of people just like me! And dang it's nice. I went from thinking I was just stupid, lazy, broken...and completely alone...to having answers to why I struggled and knowing that it wasn't just because I was a 'bad' person...but that I had legitimate difficulties holding me back. And it's amazing knowing that others are out there just like me! It's given me a ton of strength moving forward.

lol Sorry for the ramble! >.<'

LyrinMeow
04-28-18, 11:22 AM
Lamictal made me manic so they took it away.

The problem with a diagnosis is that it can have the opposite effect on some people. They have a name and think that life is over. I just don't put so much weight into what I'm labeled. I'm still just little ol' me. It has benefits for opening up treatments but I think people can sometimes put way too much weight into a diagnosis. Also a diagnosis is not a prognosis. And people confuse the two. I just think it's a good idea to keep a good mental mindset about what you are labeled. YOU are not a label.

allesandro1
07-13-18, 02:39 PM
yes, I have hypomanic episodes often in response to inordinate stress and lack of sleep. I also have a circadian rhythm disorder so insomnia for me is more the norm than not