View Full Version : Bipolar w/ADHD info for adults not kids


NonSequitor
07-17-07, 06:56 PM
I was diagnosed with ADHD a long time ago and was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder as well (I am 26). In retrospect, I have had symptoms of bipolar since I was about 9 years old. I cannot, however, find anything online that discusses the comorbidity of these disorders in ADULTS. Everything is focused on juvenile issues. Does anyone have any suggestions????:confused:

justhope
07-18-07, 08:16 AM
Hi Non-Sequitor!

Happy you found your way over here to us!

I was dx early on with ADD as well. In 1994 at age 24, and I didn't get my BipolarII diagnoses until last year, age 36.
I know I have read about them running together in adults, but for the life of me can't tell you where..LOL. I did so much research when I got dx and then again when my teenage son did. He aslo was dx with ADD/ODD at age 5 and this year with the Bipolar. I am going to share some of my research/resource sites, I don't have time to look at them before I share them to see which one's have it. But I am sure you will find it.

Let me know if it helps, if not I can do some more searching, but I am pretty sure if I don't have it, my buddies here will help you out!

www.nimh.nih.gov (http://www.nimh.nih.gov)

www.medicalnewstoday.com (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com) (this site you can research the archived releases, this might have something you are looking for, this is one of the first sites I looked at.

bipolar.about.com (http://bipolar.about.com/cs/menu_diagnosis/a/diag_psychcond.htm?nl=1) I get the newsletter from this site, also has some great articles, references, etc.


Again welcome to the forum, and especially welcome to the Bipolar Section, where are always happy to have new members join our ever growing "Cycling Club"


Hope :)

blink
08-16-07, 05:53 PM
I was diagnosed with ADHD a long time ago and was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder as well (I am 26). In retrospect, I have had symptoms of bipolar since I was about 9 years old. I cannot, however, find anything online that discusses the comorbidity of these disorders in ADULTS. Everything is focused on juvenile issues. Does anyone have any suggestions????:confused:
I was hunting around for similar information Nonsequitor because my Dad is Bipolar and ADHD as an adult. I remember finding out that the two conditions can and do coexist in adults.
I wanted to know that since I have adhd of the inattentive type and my Dad has adhd and bipolar, did that mean that I too would develop bipolar? Realized there is no way anyone could answer that for me. I have anywhere from a 15%-30% increase chance of inheriting bipolar and I'm 32, it hasn't happened yet but I suppose it still could.
Was there anything specific you wanted to know about the two conditions coexisting?

justhope
08-16-07, 07:28 PM
Hey Blink

Like I said above. I was diagnosed with ADD (combined type) at age 24 and the BPIII at age 36. So the fact that you are 32 doesn't mean you won't, or don't.
You don't "get" it at age 32, you have had it. However, it's often diagnosed later in life....since it is a progressive disease. Cyclothymia is the "precursor" so to speak of BPII, untreated it can progress to BPII, if untreated, it can lead to BPI...I think this is why we often get missed until later. Most of us can function fairly well in the Cyclothymic stage. Of course I mean that your life is probably full of all kinds of drama, possibly drug abuse, bad relationships...well dysfunctional ...but it's certainly possible to miss the diagnoses. That is what happened to me. The ADD was easy...and that doesn't progress, it is what it is.
But it wasn't until the disease progressed enough for me to really get hit hard where it hurt to get the diagnoses? I have always had it. I look back now and think aha....but I flew under the radar of a many very good doctors.

If you are ADD when you are a kid, you are still ADD, if you are BP as a kid you are still BP......the symptoms worsen where they are more noticable by everyone....and the consequences of it being untreated for so long...are a lot worse too.

Hope that makes some sense.

Hope

blink
08-16-07, 07:49 PM
It does just hope. From what I have read though, it doesn't sound like I have it. But please believe me I'm not pretending to be an expert on the subject. I have read up on it because I want to understand my father more and have a better relationship with him. I love him so much but he is a big mystery to me and it is often times hard for him to communicate or trust others. He is not and hasn't been on meds for bipolar for a long time. He doesn't really accept that he is bipolar. I am worried about him and want him to live the best quality of life he can.
Cyclothymic stage doesn't seem to fit me, based on what I've read, at present or in the past. I'm being brutally honest with myself about that too because how can I help myself otherwise? I would be interested in hearing about how the cyclothymic stage presented in your life.

justhope
08-16-07, 08:14 PM
Well Blink I hope you aren't too!

Well for the most part, as a small child, pre-teen I was a drama queen according to my lovely sis (MeAdd823) ...but I was pretty well behaved.

But when I turned about 12-13 after hormones, man was I a demon.
I skipped school, was not very umm outgoing, hung around a "bad" crowd, I started drinking, doing drugs, and was umm sexually active. I got into juvenile trouble. Was on and off probation. Etc. It wasn't until about age 16, I got involved with a youth group. It saved my life. However, I married young, divorced young, and off I went.

I remember having very extreme moods, even then. I remember I was not happy most of the time. It was easy for me to get upset over stupid little things. I got in and out of relationships easy and attached easily.
I was pretty gullible and felt sorry for folks , (over emotional) and that got me into trouble. I remember feeling really depressed sometimes, thinking about killing myself. That would pass quickly, but it was present none the less. I had times when I was extremely depressed and I would write the blackest poetry.
I was very hypersensitive to feelings, meaning I "felt" things deeply. I remember watching a show as a child about some Lions or something and the mom died, and I cried for 2 days. I remember when people killed animals I would think what if that was me, and I thought that way a lot about things.
It caused me anxiety.

As an early adult I bounced from interest to interest. I was going to be a singer, I was going to be a vet, ...I would get extremely interested in things and think I could do anything...then quickly lose interest. Sometimes I would talk incessantly...(forced speech) other times I dind't want to talk to anyone at all and was a grouch for no reason.

I spent my early adult years, in an abusive relationship with my first son's father who was an alcoholic. And I mean, we abused each other. He ticked me off I went after him, too. I had a hard time holding jobs. Some days I just couldnt' get out of the bed. Then one day I woke up, (this was after my sister was dx) and I thought there are so many things I want to do, but I can't. I read Patty Duke's book. I identified wiht the Cyclothym part in it. I called my mom, said I am coming home (I lived 400 miles away) I packed up my then 2 year old son. And off I went. I got dx that year with ADD.

However, while the ADD was treated, I still struggled with the depression, mood swings , impulsive stupid relationshop choices and holding a job.
I got dx with depression, but the meds never helped. I met (my current other 1/2) had 2 more children (off meds) , got myself in some trouble with money, and was being harrassed by my son's father, and just decided to move to Ohio with my dude.

I had so many up's and downs, never felt happy, and then would be for no reason. And thought everything would be fine, I woudl do this and that. Of course when the depression hit, I would do nothing.
After a series of tragedies, where I ended up having to move into a homeless shelter with my kids, I finally got sick of things went to work, went back to the doctor and got back on meds. It wasn't until my niece (BP niece) came to stay wiht me, that I started to notice some similarites. Then the money situation became out of control, I started not sleeping for days, but felt fine. Then would crash out and sleep the whole weekend. I would get ticked for no reason, yell have fits...then later the same day be happy again.
When I noticed how aggitated I was at my kids all the time and realized how much I was hurting them...coupled wiht the no sleep and screwed up money..that was it. I tracked my mood, wrote them down. Went to the my phychiatrist. Told him I thought I was BP (since there is a history, my dad has it too, and so does my neice, and btw so does my 15 year old) and wala he dx me with Cyclothymia/BPIII...and put next to it BPII.

So well there is the novel, but you can follow? The moods are so fast, it looks like the combined type. But they got worse. Added in the no sleep, and the grandosity, that let me to blow money by not paying attention to it..and the extremes got me.

hmmm...

blink
08-16-07, 09:03 PM
Thanks for sharing your novel. It really is easier to understand cyclothymia / bipolar related to life events rather than reading definitions and medical descriptions.
Staying with my Dad on weekends and vacations, the thing that always amazed me was how he never slept. Constantly going, going, going. I would wake up to get a drink of water and its 3 am he is busy making a stain glass window, painting a figurine, making food. The next day, he is still awake no naps, we will go to the mall, see a movie go play laser tag.

Then for no reason he would be down for several weeks, quiet. A month later, he is in an infectious mood ( he really is a charming guy )fun, fun, fun again it seemed to come from nowhere.

He wasn't on medication during that time. I know he tried it but just couldn't keep taking it because of side effects and I suppose some of the moods might have made him feel he didn't need it.

I've never had mood shifts like him. Really, guess I'm boring compared to him. Big time ADD inattentive though. That is how I could always relate to him is our mutual distraction and inattention to details.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing your history. I have a few more questions, since your diagnosis and treatment how has your life improved? From your perspective, do you think I should encourage my Dad to seek treatment again? (since there has been new drug developments that weren't available when my dad was in his 30's, 40's)
Thanks for your help.

balanced
08-17-07, 09:47 PM
when i'm off meds, I don't have bipolar, and that's exactly how I feel. I will tell everyone there is no such thing as mental illness. If I'm manic, I still don't believe it's bipolar, I'm going with the flow. It's only depression that forces me to seek treatment.

It's a tough call. I've had such success with lamictal and zero side effects. I'll never take another antidepressant again though. good luck.

I think it's interesting that each of you received your ADD/ADHD diagnosis first. I was diagnosed as BPI at 19. Doc added adderall to my meds about a month ago, and now in retrospect it makes so much sense. I share a lot of your history just hope... I could go on and on and on... but that's interesting that your story got you an ADD diagnosis. I had such a similar experience especially with the deep emotions part. Hindsight is 20/20 though, and I totally don't understand why some doctor didn't give me a stimulant earlier. Probably because I threatened my last psychiatrist in a manic effexor crazied rage. This new guy is the one.

Scattered
08-18-07, 10:35 AM
Dr. Tom Brown's book Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults discusses why ADHD is so often related to other disorders including of course bipolar.

Scattered

justhope
08-19-07, 04:13 AM
Anyway, thanks again for sharing your history. I have a few more questions, since your diagnosis and treatment how has your life improved? From your perspective, do you think I should encourage my Dad to seek treatment again? (since there has been new drug developments that weren't available when my dad was in his 30's, 40's)
Thanks for your help
Blink, you are welcome!

The BPIII diagnoses has been the best thing to happen to me besides having my boys. Overall the best thing is that I am not angry and aggitated all the time, and not everything in my life seems to be as dramactic or overwhelming. This has allowed me to be more like a normal person. Meaning I am able to seperate whats really worth being dramatic over. And what to just let go of.

One of the things I mentioned that led me to go the the doctor for help was not only the sleeping issues and money, it was for my kids. Being more balanced has not only made me a better parent in the aspect of having better schedules to get things done. Which is important for kids. It has helped me become more consistant in handing their disciplines. But the most important thing is that I truly enjoy them more. I don't get the extremes in moods that would lead me to be distant when I was depressed, including sleeping the entire weekend, or being angry for them simply coming in my room to hang out. I am not aggitated to the point of a meltdown now when they jump all over me after I have been gone all day at work, or because they want to hang out wiht me and I am on the computer or doing something that I am so involved in, I would let them eat frosting out of a can,rather than get my butt up and take care of them, hello mania....

I am happier at my job, because everything isn't that horrible that I need to get ticked off about it and spend the day ranting instead of working. The people there don't seem like such big buttheads now and I spend less time worrying about what they are doing or not doing, and spending more time working. I also have learned what the meaning of "take a breath and count to 10 is, before I shoot out and email to tell some jerk ,probably over me to go you know what himself.

ANd home...well in the last couple of months , I have been ill , had my 15 year old BP son cut himself and end up in the physc ward, had my 9 year old break his leg in 2 places at his birthday party and end up in a cast for 2 months, have the 15 year old commit some felonies, end up in intensive treatment pending court because he was suicidal, had my van blow up, had dad stop working to watch kids that 15 year old can't help with, be at the brink of filing bankruptcy to save my home due to the loss of his job and bad decisions made previouly by being undiagnosed, and let's see, oh when my 15 year old had me running all over the world to save him from jail, preceeded to get out and go right back to the streets again, I havent' seen him in 2 weeks , and when he gets caught ...he will spend the rest of his childhood locked up......

Your question, how has my life improved, well all of the reasons above, and the last paragraph, brings is all home. If I had not been on medication, I can assure you, with everything that has happened since May , I would have offed myself by now. And since I am fully medicated, that is not being dramatic.

Yes I think you should encourage your dad, and anyone else you come across that has BP to go to the doctor. For most of us, it's a matter of life and death. Literally. And you are correct, there are SO MANY new medications out there I am pretty sure he would find something he would be happier on.

Perhaps he might even be interested in popping in here sometime.

I hope you don't mind the novel again. As you can see, writing is not a problem for me.

Take care Blink,
Let me knolw how it's going!

Hope :)

sullysdaddy
01-22-08, 04:36 AM
just hope, thanks so much. sounds like you have lived a lot like me.i m doing better much better. i have for some reason been fighting the diagnosis of bi polar and more accepting inattentive type add. it seems like something i can at least have a little more control of. my mom has bi polar and her mom probably did also . my mom is sixty five. she was a successful psychologist for years among many things. latelyt though she is just ornery agitated and whines about everything andaccepts no help. for once i really realize there is not much i can do. i do still listen to her though and try to be there for her. cause over the years we have both been there for each other probably not as well as others think we should have. yet we are there for each other. their have been successful suicides grandmother, prison stays, lots of moving, lots of fun trips . me lots of depression , failure , problems with law, lost all relationships. well to the point thanks for the hope. i have a nine year old daughter and as horrible as things may be for me. if i can fake a smile through pure acting, medication,... whatever i will .she can still smile. wich i had already lost by that age. so i hope this sight can ground me and keep me directed as best possible. so hopefully if she inherits this besides the negativity she has already soaked up. God willing and with wisdom from the likes of you. she will be able to flourish amongst any odds. thanks for your time, Dennis p.s. i will look a little closer into the double diagnosis just really turned off by the multitude of drugs and their affects. damned if you do damned if you dont. i already think i am kinda on a mix for both adderrall and wellebutrin and trazadone to sleep and ativan for anxiety wich nothing really touches. ok through rambling..lol next Dennis

Ravenna
08-11-08, 08:29 AM
Dr. Tom Brown's book Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults discusses why ADHD is so often related to other disorders including of course bipolar.

Scattered
Im following this with great interest, I was diagnosed BP years ago but Ive never thought they got the diagnosis right.