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ADHD and Bipolar Disorder

June 11th, 2014 05:00:00 am


ADHD and Bipolar Disorder

I recently read an article on ADDitude Magazine that I couldn't resist making one or two comments on, not to mention adding in a few different insights. Go figure!

 

Here is the article and the ten conditions:

 

ADHD Plus: 10 Conditions that May Show Up with Attention Deficit

  1. ADHD and Depression

  2. ADHD and Learning Disabilities

  3. ADHD and Anxiety

  4. ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

  5. ADHD and Bipolar Disorder

  6. ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder

  7. ADHD and Autism

  8. ADHD and Substance Abuse

  9. ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome

  10. ADHD and Conduct Disorder

 

Let's take a different look at ADHD and Bipolar Disorder.

 

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings—high, euphoric periods (mania) and low periods of depression. The mania stage is sometimes seen as hyperactivity and the low states as inattention and lack of motivation, all of which are common with ADHD. Those with bipolar may lose touch with reality or have a distorted sense of reality; their moods, both mania and depression, may last for weeks. About one-fifth of those with ADHD also have bipolar disorder. - ADDitude Magazine

 

Let's put this into perspective: there's a love affair with depression because light to moderate depression can make the ADHD person fit in better. It lowers their excitement and natural vivacity. This way, they appear “normal,” when really they're a sedated version of their best selves.

 

For the most part, children are fed poor diets that contribute to sugar highs and crashes we conveniently call mood swings. A lot of children don't get the nutrients they need, and spend their days riding a roller coaster of emotions they're not equipped to understand.

 

On top of that, most people (adults and children) don't know how to support the ADHD child in fully accessing and utilizing their highly intelligent, highly creative nature. They need a productive and “acceptable” way of accessing and utilizing both these positive aspects. Imagine they are like a cauldron of energy. If you turn the stove down a bit and slowly let out some of the air, the pot doesn't boil over; but if you keep the lid on and stifle any natural exertion of energy, the pot will boil over and make a huge mess.

 

Lastly, many children with ADHD are reprimanded by adults and/or ostracized by their peers, which leads to lowered self-esteem and self-worth. Is it any wonder that one fifth of those with ADHD might also have a form of bipolar disorder?

 

The last thing to keep in mind is that depression and mood swings can oftentimes be a side effect of drugs. Before you or someone you know rushes off to the doctor to get another prescription on top of ADHD meds, check what the side effects of current medications are. Then, seek alternative options. Find solutions that aren't at the bottom of a pill bottle. Beware of rushing down the rabbit hole of prescriptions, especially when it comes to your children's health. How far will we go in medicating our youth before we say “enough is enough!”?  

 

This is the sixth article in a series on ADHD and accompanying conditions.

1. ADHD Plus...Plus...Plus

2. ADHD and Depression

3. ADHD and Learning Disabilities

4. ADHD and Anxiety

5. ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

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