View Full Version : Wife bipolar and adhd(?)

06-03-09, 09:58 PM
My wife has a bipolar diagnoses but not by a psychiatrist.
She does not seem to have typical bipolar behavior as she never seems to have the hyper or angry part of very seldom.
I do believe she is adhd since I've learned so much about it after being diagnosed myself.
She also has psoriatic arthritis and shogrins and is in a lot of pain almost constantly.
Her meds are a real soup of different things but I guess the main one is the morphine for pain which is gradually being reduced.
She has had horrible obsessive behaviors especialy when it comes to shopping and last year she went on a huge bin and drove us to bankruptcy.
She gets hooked on certain foods whether it be coke, cheese-its, cookies, honey-nut cheerios, or any of a large number of other foods but all snack foods.
Once she starts on one, she has to have them around constantly but starting on one usually means the end of another. She is hooked on many tv shows, mostly reality, and now is hooked on blogging.
She also goes through staying awake 48 to 72 hours and then sleeping 24 or so.
Drives me nuts.

I don't even know what my question is.
Is this typical behavior for bipolar?

06-04-09, 09:21 PM
It could be hypomania. Maybe it isn't full-blown bipolar, but cyclothymia. How are the depression symptoms? Btw, the cycles don't HAVE to be just 4 times a year or something and rarely are they every five minutes -- but I'm sure you know this. And if things get in the way of life, please have her see a psychiatrist... and most manics will refuse, but it's in everyone's best interest to seek help. Things may not seem bad at the moment, but crap can hit the fan REALLY quick.

06-05-09, 01:23 AM
Thank you hsoJ.
She doesn't seem to fit the hypomania or cyclothmia either
She just can't make herself do anything. Maybe its the pain,,,,i don't know.
She had an appointment today with a psych but canceled at least minute because she didn't feel good.
I was disappointed but she seemed to be also.

06-05-09, 06:42 AM
Dear MrJohn,

You sound concerned by your wife's behaviors and affected by the pain it is causing to both her and you. I strongly reccommend she see a trained psychiatrist who is able to properly diagnose and implement a proper treatment plan thereafter.

If she is unwilling to seek treatment, I suggest you see a proffessional who is able to give you the proper steps in dealing with a loved one who is clearly suffering.

Best wishes to you and please keep us updated on the progress ~~


06-05-09, 11:56 PM
I agree she needs to see a professional who can accurately diagnose her. It can be complicated when there is more than one disorder present to be able to differentiate between similar disorders and to accurately recognize all the disorders that are present. That may even take some time, as one disorder can somewhat mask another disorder at times.

I can think of several different possiblities and/or combinations from the symptoms you've described. In addition to ADHD and mini-bipolar or cyclothymia, there could be depression, OCD or OCPD, and borderline personality disorder. Hopefully, the professional is experienced and skilled in diagnosing all of these disorders. Some professionals have a specialty they tend to work with, such as depression, and may not be as knowledgeable in recognizing other disorders. For example, some professionals have a hard time recognizing ADHD in adults, especially women with inattentive ADHD, and only see depression. That was the case with my sister.


06-14-09, 12:32 PM
Differential diagnosis could also be Borderline Personality Disorder. That can feature _altered attention_ (dissociation/spaciness) and _bipolar like episodes_ (rage, high energy, irritability, etc).

DSM-IV-TR criteria

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): "a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships (, self-image ( and affects (, as well as marked impulsivity (, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts."<SUP id=cite_ref-criteria_16-0 class=reference>[17] (</SUP> BPD is classed on "Axis II" as an underlying pervasive or personality condition, rather than "Axis I" for more circumscribed mental disorders. A DSM diagnosis of BPD requires any five out of nine listed criteria to be present for a significant period of time. There are thus 256 different combinations of symptoms that could result in a diagnosis, of which 136 have been found in practice in one study.<SUP id=cite_ref-17 class=reference>[18] (</SUP> The criteria are:<SUP id=cite_ref-DSM-IV-TR_2-2 class=reference>[3] (</SUP>
Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. [Not including suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5]
A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships ( characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation (
Identity ( disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image ( or sense of self (
Impulsivity ( in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex (, eating disorders (, binge eating (, substance abuse (, reckless driving ( [Again, not including suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5]
Recurrent suicidal behavior (, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior ( such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
Affective ( instability due to a marked reactivity of mood ( (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria (, irritability or anxiety ( usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
Chronic feelings of emptiness (, worthlessness.
Inappropriate anger ( or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
Transient, stress ( paranoid ( ideation, delusions ( or severe dissociative ( symptoms

06-14-09, 09:34 PM
Borderline personality disorder is also frequently misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder. They both involve mood swings and impulsive behavior that is self-destructive.

Also, in order to have bipolar disorder you need to have either mania or hypomania. And the mood swings of bipolar disorder are more cyclic and at least last a few days. Those with borderline disorder can sometimes change moods in a matter of seconds and go through several mood changes a day!

And I know of two individuals, one a female and the other a male, who have both Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder, and ADHD as well.


06-15-09, 06:28 AM
Dear MrJohn,

I wanted to check on you and your wife? Has she been seen by the doctor?


06-17-09, 01:41 PM
hey john,
I just read your post; what's going on now? has your wife seen a professional; it's important to see a psychiatrist, if she/you don't feel comfortable with the first one you see, find another until you find a good working relationship with a Dr that LISTENS to you and your wife. Brain chemistry is very tricky and it might take a while don't give up!
I have BP and was just diagnosed in October after years of being treated for depression; it isn't easy, it's very hard on loved ones because they feel helpless and want to take away the pain. There are support groups for family and friends of bp (I don't know about adhd)
I will hold a good thought for you and yours