View Full Version : Asperger's syndrome or Bipolar? which is it?


juliette
07-09-05, 08:54 AM
My sons have been dx with Asperger's a couple of years ago, they also have been dx with ADHD and mood disorder. I'm now (because of several reasons) wondering if they were misdiagnosed and may be Bipolar instead. Is there a deciding factor to differentiate the two?
If they are put on lithium and it helps will that determine if they are Bipolar? Is there a characteristic that could differentiate the two? Could they have both? My head is spinning and i don't even know what's normal behaviour anymore.

juliette
07-27-05, 09:17 PM
visited the dr. and dr said yes it is very possible to have both AS and BD and ADD which he thinks is the case with my son. AS and BP mimic each other quite a bit the dr. said.

Cactus
07-27-05, 09:45 PM
Unfortunately ADD by itself is almost rare. It often comes with friends- usually depression, but frequently AS too. BD isn't as common, but it's defianately a candidate. You're definately not alone.

Crazygirl79
08-07-05, 10:07 PM
I too was incorrectly diagnosed with Aspergers at 13 but at 16 I was correctly diagnosed with ADHD, at 19 I was diagnosed with Chronic Tic Disorder and at 24 I was highly suspected of suffering Bipolar....now I'm wondering with all I've read if I had Childhood Bipolar and it was missed till adulthood???!!!

Crazygirl79
08-07-05, 10:09 PM
I'd take your boy for a second and a third opinion, I'd also visit Childhood Bipolar websites (sorry I don't know of any at hand) and as for Aspergers you could visit www.asperger.asn.au (http://www.asperger.asn.au) and see if any alarm bells ring but most importantly I'd take your boy to 2nd and a 3rd doctor for assessment and support groups are good too!!:) visited the dr. and dr said yes it is very possible to have both AS and BD and ADD which he thinks is the case with my son. AS and BP mimic each other quite a bit the dr. said.

juliette
08-18-05, 09:12 AM
Ive heard that childhood BP is often misdiagnosed and dx as other things until adulthood when "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......it was BP all along!" happens.

Crazygirl79
08-28-05, 10:14 PM
It's starting to look that way in my case Juliette!!!!!Ive heard that childhood BP is often misdiagnosed and dx as other things until adulthood when "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......it was BP all along!" happens.

mctavish23
09-03-05, 10:17 AM
Yes. It's possible to have all three.

Please keep in mind that "Mood Disorder" is usually (but not always) another way of saying Bipolar. It doesn't have to be though, which is why it gets very confusing to everyone involved.

All forms of depression are classified as "mood disorders."

In the DSM-IV the breakdown goes like this:

Mood Episodes -Major Depressive Episode,Manic Episode and Hypomanic Episode

Here's what my DSM-IV Desk Reference says (keep in mind that there are both desk references and the larger more complete versions of the DSM.The one I have at home is not the newest version,however, none of these diagnoses have changed any).

(This is on p161)

"These episodes do not have their own diagnostic codes and cannot be diagnosed as separate entities;however,they serve as building blocks for the disorder diagnoses."

"The second part sets the criteria for Mood Disorders (i.e.,Depressive Disorders,Bipolar Disorders,Mood Disorder Due to a General Medicial Condition,Substance-Induced Mood Disorder)."

"The third part includes "specifiers" that describe either the most recent episode or the course of recurrent episodes."

If that sounds complicated ...it is.

As far as the evidenced (research derived) based differences between Pediatric Bipolar (there is no formal diagnosis called this right now) and ADHD, Andi posted a great article in the Bipolar Section of the Forum that delineates the differences.

Please check that out when you get a chance.

As with ADHD, there is no formal/standardized diagnostic procedure to diagnose any form of bipolar in kids. (I don't work with grownups, although I'm not aware of one for that population either. If there were it would be relatively new).

With kids, the primary diagnostic checklist used for many years to help diagnose autism (only) was the CARS (Childhood Autism Rating Scale).

I must confess , I never used it.The reason being that it has no norms.

Norms are the data derived from the sample population used to develop the test instrument in the first place . For a test score to mean anything, you have to be able to compare the test subject's score to a sample population based on age or sex,etc. At the very least, there must be some research listed as supporting the interpretations derived from the test scores.

I found that to be a waste of time, however, the general idea was that "something is better than nothing." To me presonally,nothing still equaled nothing.

For Asperger's Disorder (only), there is now a checklist that is actually based (normed) on children who've been diagnosed with Asperger's. Now this test I use because the scores mean something.

It's the Gilliam Asperger's Disorder Scale (GADS) and I am happy with it so far, as it seems to do a good job of helping delineate that diagnosis.

The last thing I'd say about ADHD and Bipolar is something I've posted many times before; there is a "one way comorbidity" between ADHD and Bipolar, in that up to 97% of kids with Bipolar disorder also have ADHD, while the opposite is not true .

I hope that helps some, as it is a very confusing area with more shades of grey than black & whilte.


Take care


mctavish23 (Robert)