View Full Version : adhd vs bipolar and stims/mood stabilizers


livingpharaoh
12-14-10, 03:30 PM
Hi guys im young guy with adhd that was given adderal and I think I might be bipolar. This questions is geared towards those that are bipolar and adhd that found out about adhd before bipolar.


When you were unaware of your disorders what was your life like?



Once they put you on adhd meds how did they affect you?



When did you realize you were bipolar to?

The thing is I think I might be bipolar just becuase the amount of damage my disorder has done to my life. None of my other family members have gone through this much and they have "adhd".

My mood is crap. My mother says I have mood swings worse than my lil sister haha. Its just that I get mad about some things quickly. I think my pops might have it through his mother but they grew up in the country back in the days and didnt have psych docs to tell them these things.

My pops doesnt believe in adhd but he has all the sypmtoms and always has even b4 we knew about adhd. He has some bipolar symptoms to. Explosive anger, impulsiveness. He is such a sharp guy but their is obviously something holding him back in life.

My mom add but she has been able to suceed in life. It gives her trouble but she can still function really well. I can barely function on a day to day basis. Im constantly using substances to balance my mood. From sugar, to cafeeine, mj, alcohol, x, I have a list.

I started taking st johns wart and pretty fast here it started making me feel real good. I read that people with adhd derive no benefit from the herb but bipolar people can go into a manic or hypomanic state from it. I felt pretty damn hypomanic for the past few days here. I havent been taking care of myself like i usually do. I wake up moving and ready to go more than usual. I have short periods of feeling like a god or something. Super high confidence. The only time i feel really bad is when im coming home at night from work and i am all alone at home. Or just being at home alone. And this is coming out of a state of depression that i was wading through since august.

I'm thinking about taking a larger dose of the st jons so i can find out for sure if i am bipolar or not. this sure sounds like it but i dont want to project the symptoms onto my reality you know. I dont have benefits until the beginning of next year.

I dont know just trying to see if there is anyone out there that can help me.

bof00
12-14-10, 06:30 PM
I would do some research on bipolar if I were you. Alcohol and caffeine make bipolar swings worse so you should try to avoid those. My wife is bipolar (cyclo type) and I'm ADD-I and there are some similarities, but there are a lot of differences too. You have to be extra careful taking ADHD stimulants with bipolar. It's working on the chemicals that throw you into a hypomanic or manic state. Hypomania is the great god-like feeling and carefree attitude. Full blown mania would be delusions, grandiosity, paranoia, blacking out, etc. Irritability and implusiveness are usually at the end of a manic episode and about to switch to depression because you're mind is to neurotoxicity and is purging (dumping it's chemicals). A stimulant during hypomania could throw you into mania. You should concentrate on serotonin level first.

St Johns Wort (the best type is Perika) increases serotonin levels, but is inconclusive whether it is also a mild DRI and NRI, which are the two levels that are increased during hypomania, so you must be careful trying it, but it works for many. Also, SAM-e works on serotonin and dopamine. And then there's 5-HTP which strictly increases serotonin. All are over the counter in the US.

Just so you know, usually a bipolar person takes a mood stabilizer (which are typically lithium or seizure medications like trileptal) and then use a serotonin med (usually a SSRI like lexapro) to counter the depression side. Anxiety is usually an issue too, so that's an as-needed med. This will likely be the approach through a doctor. But the over the counter meds typically have less bad side effects but are a little less effective also.

Velvetdragon
12-14-10, 07:57 PM
I'd be careful of self medicating, even with an herb. (Herbs are not necessarily safer than medications for the record.) Be sure not to take it if you start an anti-d, or take migraine medicine like Imitrex. Serotonin syndrome can cause many health problems. I would talk to your pharmacist about interactions with all the medications you're taking.

St John's Wort also increases your body's photosensitivity, so stay out of the sun. If there is any where you are. ;) You should also monitor your blood pressure while taking it.

If you end up in an extreme manic state you could end up experiencing psychosis. I would be very wary of trying to induce mania. I am speaking as someone whose family has many people with bipolar I who experience psychosis as part of their symptoms, and it is very, very unpleasant, both for the people around them and the people experiencing it, when they come out of the psychotic manic state and realize what they've done.

My family's house has sharpie writing all over the walls and tile floors.

For the record, anger and impulsiveness can be symptoms of ADHD as well. Impulsiveness, in fact, is one of the main symptoms. Anger is often another side effect of having little impulse control.

In addition, the extent to which ADHD interferes with one's life varies from person to person. Just because your family members who also have ADHD have gotten along fine with the disorder does not mean you don't have it because you can't get along.

That doesn't mean you don't have bipolar, I'm just throwing the info out there.

The year is almost over. Rather than trying to self diagnose, and possibly induce dangerous states of mind, I'd suggest trying to coast smoothly on as stable a mood as you can until you can get to a doctor next month, if possible. If not, you may be able to get to a free clinic or sliding scale psych doc?

nova2012
12-15-10, 12:18 AM
This topic hits home for me, as I've lately been paranoid that I have a latent or unfolding bipolar disorder. My age (21) is the mean for onset of bipolar II (bipolar I tends to strike at a younger age).

I wasn't concerned about this for any rational reason (just mental-disorder-OCD, literally), ironically until recently when I fell into my first ever depressive episode with atypical symptoms. Atypical depression is often associated with bipolar disorder, so now I'm just "waiting" for a hypomanic episode, and it's rather torturous. There isn't an absolute probability of having bipolar II with atypical depressive symptoms, but it's about 70%.

I'm having a bad day (slept like **** last night), but I'll try to help as best I'm currently able.

The thing is I think I might be bipolar just becuase the amount of damage my disorder has done to my life. None of my other family members have gone through this much and they have "adhd".

My mood is crap. My mother says I have mood swings worse than my lil sister haha. Its just that I get mad about some things quickly. I think my pops might have it through his mother but they grew up in the country back in the days and didnt have psych docs to tell them these things.

If you and your mom know your mood is "crap," it probably is some of the time, and likely it changes more often and more severely than that of the average person. That is a bit of a red flag, since people you live with (particularly family) are often more attuned to the level of impairment, dysfunction, and detriment mood swings cause than the person experiencing them is--or, for that matter, than the professional making the diagnosis.

My pops doesnt believe in adhd but he has all the sypmtoms and always has even b4 we knew about adhd. He has some bipolar symptoms to. Explosive anger, impulsiveness. He is such a sharp guy but their is obviously something holding him back in life.

ADHD and bipolar disorder are fairly commonly comorbid. Bipolar disorder is present in at least 10x the amount of ADHDers that it is in the general population. The reason why is unknown, but perhaps the two disorders--at least in some cases--share a similar neurobiological basis. After all, for most intents and purposes, ADHD is a syndrome, not an explanation.

An explosive temper, if it really is "explosive" (that's hard to qualify or quantify), is pretty common in bipolar disorder. A hair-trigger temper or short fuse is common in ADHD, but these are merely descriptors. You can think of ADHD as limiting the ability to sufficiently control one's emotions--including anger--versus bipolar, which can directly and neurochemically "enrage" someone. I know the distinction might seem arbitrary, but it's meaningful.

My mom add but she has been able to suceed in life. It gives her trouble but she can still function really well. I can barely function on a day to day basis. Im constantly using substances to balance my mood. From sugar, to cafeeine, mj, alcohol, x, I have a list.

It sounds like your mom doesn't have pathological mood issues, which tend to severely exacerbate the dysfunction already present in people with ADHD.

I started taking st johns wart and pretty fast here it started making me feel real good. I read that people with adhd derive no benefit from the herb but bipolar people can go into a manic or hypomanic state from it. I felt pretty damn hypomanic for the past few days here. I havent been taking care of myself like i usually do. I wake up moving and ready to go more than usual. I have short periods of feeling like a god or something. Super high confidence. The only time i feel really bad is when im coming home at night from work and i am all alone at home. Or just being at home alone. And this is coming out of a state of depression that i was wading through since august.

I'm thinking about taking a larger dose of the st jons so i can find out for sure if i am bipolar or not. this sure sounds like it but i dont want to project the symptoms onto my reality you know. I dont have benefits until the beginning of next year.

How long ago did you start taking St. John's wort, which brand/extract did you take, and when did the hypomanic symptoms start? I have heard of SJW causing hypomania, as its effects on the brain aren't drastically different than SSRIs, although its mechanism of action likely differs substantially and it possess more affinity for dopamine and norepinephrine receptors (equal to that of serotonin).

I started taking Perika on Saturday for transient moderate-to-severe atypical depression, arguably the best, standardized SJW extract (made by a German pharmaceutical company), which is used in virtually all the clinical trials studying the efficacy and safety of SJW--for a reason. It has proven in studies to be similarly effective in mild, moderate, and severe depression to Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac, contrary to the claims of the mainstream American clinical psychiatric community which shuns it (effectively because it isn't well-funded or backed by big pharma). It has less side effects and a higher rate of remission (the latter applies at least compared with Paxil). I haven't really noticed a huge amount yet, but the clinical effects should only be noticeable in a week or two, and it achieves peak efficacy in 4-6 weeks.

I dont know just trying to see if there is anyone out there that can help me.

A psychiatrist would be your best bet to start with. This is a serious disorder and is not one which you should be self-medicating. That has led directly to many a bipolar's demise and, presumably at minimum, a worsening of the illness.

You should concentrate on serotonin level first.

I don't know if I believe this. SSRIs have almost exclusive serotonin affinity, yet they commonly cause hypomania. Furthermore, the anergic/atypical depression often present in bipolar depressive episodes seems more firmly rooted in dopaminergic dysfunction, causing anhedonia, a lack of motivation, and a lack of energy (sound familiar? To some degree, these afflict most ADHDers, too, which is also linked to some variation of dopamine pathway issues). This is why MAOIs with significant dopaminergic activity are more effective for and slightly less commonly induce hypomanic switches in bipolar patients.

St Johns Wort (the best type is Perika) increases serotonin levels, but is inconclusive whether it is also a mild DRI and NRI, which are the two levels that are increased during hypomania, so you must be careful trying it, but it works for many. Also, SAM-e works on serotonin and dopamine. And then there's 5-HTP which strictly increases serotonin. All are over the counter in the US.

Agreed about Perika. I don't recommend SAM-e and, in particular, 5-HTP for people for bipolar for the aforementioned reasons.

I probably wouldn't recommend SJW/Perika, either, for people with known mood instability, but I'm not as sure about that one.

bof00
12-15-10, 12:58 PM
That's great information nova. I would also say that it can't be stressed enough that you need caution in treating bipolar, and everyone has different lengths of cycles at different degrees, and what works for one does not work for all, so you will probably go through a lot of med changes until getting it right. Even when doctors are prescribing it, be cautious, have someone around that will notice if you get worse, because you likely will not notice it in yourself until after.