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Old 04-05-2004, 03:21 PM   #1
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sodawater HB User
Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

I spent an hour last night looking at several other boards on this site, including OCD, Panic Disorders and BiPolar. And it made me feel very skeptical about what's really going on with the classification of mental disorders.

I could identify with bits and pieces from each of these sites. At one point in my life I had some OCD symptoms. At another I had panic attacks. And when I'm feeling energetic and hyper someone might easily see that as 'manic'.

I don't mean to downplay the significance of any of these conditions, but I do find it really difficult to believe in each as its own discrete phenomenon. And I mean something other than co-morbidity. Sometimes I read posts on this board where people describe themselves as having a grocery list of different disorders and I think something is just deeply deeply wrong with the way these things are understood.

Aren't all of these things so closely related as to be basically part of the same thing? And what does it mean when on any of these boards you find people prescribing the same basic things (other than medication): regular exercise, healthier diet and supplementation, etc?

I'm not in any way discrediting my own (or anyone else's) ADD but my look around here really gave me the feeling that these conditions are slightly different reactions to many of the same things: poor physical health, stress, social expectations, money, etc.

I do not want to make anyone frustrated or angry with this post. I am well aware of how liberating it can be to name your struggles, but I am very very curious how others see this. Especially if anyone could give reference to a kind of 'minority' opinion that argues these things are essentially all the same.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-05-2004, 08:24 PM   #2
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

There are a lot of co-moribities among AD/HD, but remember there are certain guidlines for each disorder. Your local library should carry the DSM-IV TR, look up any disorders and you can find if you meet the criteria. I do know for a fact that Bi-polar and AD/HD do are very very high co-morbity. Sometimes people are diagnosted with AD/HD when they should be diagnosted with Bi-polar 1 or 2 or cyclothymic; or vice versa. I only read part of your post, well the beginning and I had to add this before I forgot!
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:44 PM   #3
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

thanks volleyball but i don't meet the criteria for ocd/panic disorders/bipolar. however, i do have add. my point was really that DSM criteria seem to construct a bunch of discreet conditions in place of something that is more general but that has much variability among those affected.
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Old 04-10-2004, 07:43 AM   #4
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

Really good question! I was thinking of answering before this but the implications of the entire psychodoc community being fubar is pretty serious, and whoami to say or suggest an Rx??! !??!!? well, then I calmed down and did a search-engine query on "commonality of adhd, bipolar, schizophrenia" and it came back with for example a discussion of "Neurodevelopmental Psychopathological Disorders" in which they "suggest that six major mental disorders have enough in common to question the labels given to them"; there are other refs, too; maybe you can start with that or maybe you already have. ?
On a related note, I am ADD-- probably pretty much fersher not bipolar-- kind of Dx and also do some computer work in object-oriented languages, and I'm wondering why pdocs can't get the classification of these disorders straightened out in terms of derivative classification. I mean, there are a lot of medical analogies where such classification is fundamental, e.g. species, inheritance: a goat is a mammal, a mammal is an animal, so a goat is an animal; but NOT a rock-is-an-animal (at least unless mis-diagnosed from a turtle!). Well, looking into it more, I can see why better: the underlying psychoneurology just isn't that well established, and even then it is very costly to do the kinds of tests that seem to shed light on that part of the problem. So, behavioral indications are the only ones to go on, and as you know, they are pretty tricky to interpret, especially since they tend to be related to pdocs by the very people who have the disorder!! [blind leading the not-quite-seeing? yes, there's something wrong with this picture-- do NOT attempt to use the dials on your set to 'fix' the picture!].
well, like i said, this is a good area to dig into. Thanks for the question and good luck. I'll try to chip in some refs if i run across them; you too OK?

 
Old 04-10-2004, 08:03 AM   #5
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

well, having gotten this far, i will venture a bit farther (further?). This kind of problem in science that you are getting at is pretty typical, rather classical, from a 'history-of-science' perspective. A classic, recent example is the revolution in physics/chemistry that occurred around the start of the 20th century, with the advent of quantum physics (and relativity) and later in genetics (ie thru dna). In physical chemistry, we (people) were quite advanced in knowing how compounds and such could be made, purified, processed, interact, and so on; even knew the 'periodic' table and such. but didn't know the underlying nature of the atom (==quantum mechanics); once that was understood, a WHOLE bunch of things became pretty much CRYSTAL clear, and there was a huge step forward in a lot of areas. Similarly, we knew a lot about species (even how to make all kinds of derivatives of fruits, fruit flies, etc.!) but only after the discovery of DNA could we even begin to do things like cloning [requiring actual cellular-level regeneration]. I think polio, cancer, MS research, etc, are like this, too; it takes alot to find the "smoking gun", so to speak, but once found, the impact can be huge. Well, Dx and Rx of the 'disorders' we are talking about in this context aren't quite broken thru yet; ya know??

 
Old 04-11-2004, 10:38 PM   #6
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

The 'overlapping' symptoms are a result from different areas of the brain not working correctly. It's a domino effect. All areas of the brain 'work together', so when one area of the brain doesn't work correctly, another area that relies on the previous area doesn't work correctly and so on.

For example, a good analogy with AD/HD is the limbic system. The limbic system relies on the frontal lobes, so when the frontal lobes don't metabolize correctly (AD/HD) the limbic system doesn't function properly (depression / mood disorders, panic attacks, etc.) and vice-versa.

People with other disorders, such as depression as the root cause, result and report having AD/HD symptoms along with their depression, but they don't have 'true' AD/HD.

Some treatments 'attack' the root cause, some 'attack' both the primary and secondary and some people have multiple disorders (dominos falling from many sides).

The way someone is able to tell what they 'truly' have is by analyzing the symptoms (behavior) of their past family members. In other words it's genetics.

The way you can tell if it's a socio-economic / psychological problem is by purely analyzing family members. Your parents grew up in a different era and consumed completely different diets and had a completely different lifestyle than modern day. And their parents grew up in a completely different era and consumed different diets / lifestyle, etc.

The variable in common with all family members is the same symptoms (the AD/HD gene).

 
Old 04-12-2004, 11:40 AM   #7
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sodawater
I spent an hour last night looking at several other boards on this site, including OCD, Panic Disorders and BiPolar. And it made me feel very skeptical about what's really going on with the classification of mental disorders.

I could identify with bits and pieces from each of these sites. At one point in my life I had some OCD symptoms. At another I had panic attacks. And when I'm feeling energetic and hyper someone might easily see that as 'manic'.

I don't mean to downplay the significance of any of these conditions, but I do find it really difficult to believe in each as its own discrete phenomenon. And I mean something other than co-morbidity. Sometimes I read posts on this board where people describe themselves as having a grocery list of different disorders and I think something is just deeply deeply wrong with the way these things are understood.

Aren't all of these things so closely related as to be basically part of the same thing? And what does it mean when on any of these boards you find people prescribing the same basic things (other than medication): regular exercise, healthier diet and supplementation, etc?

I'm not in any way discrediting my own (or anyone else's) ADD but my look around here really gave me the feeling that these conditions are slightly different reactions to many of the same things: poor physical health, stress, social expectations, money, etc.

I do not want to make anyone frustrated or angry with this post. I am well aware of how liberating it can be to name your struggles, but I am very very curious how others see this. Especially if anyone could give reference to a kind of 'minority' opinion that argues these things are essentially all the same.

Thanks in advance.
You are on to something here and I think you know it. As far as I have read, alot of so-called mental disorders can be from external causes, sometimes from drug/alcohol use (and I don't just mean abusive use), poor nutrition or physical diseases. I'm sure there are some cases of real mental illness.....when people, for no good reason, have no touch with reality and are seeing things that aren't there, well, ok, but things like inability to focus, depression, anxiety, etc. can be caused by many different things!

Don't you think it's ironic, too, that antidepressants are linked to mania (not just in previous bi-polar people either), stimulants are linked to depression, antipsychotics to nervous system disorders, etc., when all these drugs are supposed to "correct" brain function. A well-functioning brain wouldn't have any of these problems....thus these drugs, although seemingly work to control one problem at least temporarily, can cause various others including drug tolerance which is a typical reaction of the brain to toxic chemicals(usual dose stops working after awhile)

It is already a known fact that chemicals like alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, etc. can cause things like anxiety, depression and even psychosis sometimes. I've read that LSD was linked to schizophrenia; alcohol to depression. Some bi-polar celebrities have been prescription pill poppers in the past....the movie "Valley of the Dolls" vaguly addressed that issue of prescription uppers and downers as common practice for entertainers under alot of stress and expectation, and the mood disorders that followed such practice...

What people injest like drugs could be a culprit....also, what they don't. For example, I think something such as low serotonin could be caused by lack of eating quality protein just as much as any other theory. After all, serotonin is created by protein synthesis.....protein is digested and converted to amino acids, amino acids create various neurotransmitters like serotonin and others. The AD's do not create serotonin.....they just manipulate it in the brain. Eating right will actually create it....carbs are important too because they are protein-sparing.

Low serotonin itself is still just a theory since most people on AD's have never received any physical test to determine if they were low and I have yet to hear any numbers/levels of what is normal serotonin levels in the brain at all times (unlike diabetes where blood sugar levels are established and can be physically, accurately tested)..

ADD kids seem to only have problems when trying to conform to what system of learning is used typically; but since they are usually tested and confirmed to have very high IQ's, then why are they labeled as having a mental disorder? Last I heard, high intelligience was a desirable trait, not a mental disease. But, medicating anything that is different or difficult seems to be a big money-maker these days, even high intelligence I guess.

 
Old 04-16-2004, 12:15 AM   #8
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

Apr. 15th really reminded me of this thread. Probably you had similar symptoms to mine but we'll see. I actually set aside last weekend to do my taxes but couldn't do anything on them, not even sort my bills, etc. I was definitely afraid I would owe a bunch and so really avoided the ghastly reality by aVOIDing, procrastinating, and of course feeling guilty, inadequate, etc.-- the only mitigating factor is the typically "normal" reaction of people to Apr. 15th-- which is basically like mine but probably no where near as 'pathological' and 'pathetic' as mine! [Right?] Well, I was hoping a hypomanic or maybe even bona fide manic moment would strike and I would just whip those ole' taxes right out! But, alas, my mood stabilizers probably stomped on those guys before they had a chance to get going, and I just kindof didn't even dent the problem, like I said. And I just felt kindof paralyzed and only wanted to escape, which I managed to do for a while here and there, including checking out these boards.
Well, when I finally did RUSH to get them done (yesterday morning), I couldn't find my W2 form, even though it was in there (the PILE[s], boss, the PILES!!)-- but I was kindof too frazzled to see it and just sort of glossed right over it a couple of times, finally to the point that it was the only thing left that I hadn't actually physically FOCUSed on, and then, there it was!! So, I wiped off the beads of panic sweat on my brow and rushed off too work but natch was late and (Murphy's Law...) couldn't find time to get done at work (not that I could've because I forgot my W2 at home [I think but I'm not sure; anyway, I found it when I got home].
But I happened to see my pdoc (regular appt) and went over this anxiety and inadequacy and dread (of being tardy, and to the IRS!!! . So, she helped calm me down, and then I went back to work, but then an emergency kind of happened with one of our customers that my team had to work on for the 3+ hours late in the afternoon that I THOUGHT I might be able to use to catch up and redeem myself. But, alas, this was not to be, as usual [ne c'est pas, ADDers?] But I did manage to get home (even later than usual) and get them done, only to find that I was too late to get them in the mailbox and didn't even have time to make a copy, although I MIGHT be able to read the worksheet if I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO go back and check as to why I messed up my math and maybe made a $$ mistrake like in the $1000's column ??
Whoa. I'm thinking ADD (chronic/acute/rapid-cycling inattentive) + manic (type I AND II, rapid cycling) + anxiety disorder + depression (rapid cycling and chronic, alternating). I don't think schizophrenia fits in here but what do you think? Hey, might as well have a party!
Well, I know this might sound cynical but it's not really; it's just maybe spinning the events to illustrate the point of overlapping symptoms. I guess I kindof resemble these remarks!
Oh yeah! Did I get to the part where they actually owe ME $$? And I didn't really need to get my taxes in by midnite? I can't 'member; I'm too verklempt!

 
Old 04-16-2004, 10:41 AM   #9
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

Ha,Ha, that's funny. There must be alot of ADDer's in this country because every year it's like a madhouse at post offices around the country on that day. Procrastination for something so boring, complicated and potentially costly is pretty common I would think.

Luckily, if you are getting a refund, you do not have to worry alot about being late, but if you owe, they'll get you if you don't light speed their money to them! Notice that there is no deadline for them if they owe you, however. It would be fun to tune into the news and see a bunch of panicked government workers in line at the post office one day at midnight, wouldn't it? What a country....

 
Old 04-16-2004, 11:33 AM   #10
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Smile Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

Alpinecone, I just have to tell you that your post made my day. You are hilarious. I can definitly relate.

 
Old 04-19-2004, 09:44 PM   #11
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

Most appreciative-- a couple more thoughts on this, tho. There was this 'deja vu all over again'-thing, as yogi berra coined the term, going on at the time, which was frustrating but moreso that I had the feeling I could "write the book or chapter" on what was unfolding before me. Really sad when it happens, especially under stress-- but that's when it happens the most and the worst, it seems. It's like-- oh oh, here we go again!-- but you have to just bull it out and try to not think about remorse or how-could-I-have-prevented-this or 'WHY WHY WHY [ME!!]!!?? Fortunately, it turned out OK in the end, and if I can keep remembering this, I stand a good chance at not repeating this mistake again. But actually, on thinking back over the years, I KNEW THAT!! Man, ADD is really insidious!

 
Old 04-20-2004, 01:03 AM   #12
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

-- Note: this is segue-ing from a thread under "Schizophrenia", so you might need a large stack to subroutine that; if not, it's hopefully not disruptive or disjointed to just keep following this here thread...--

This 'deja vu' feeling all over again is definitely analogical. In a mostly benign, if often creative way, it is a child of if not a beneficiary of 'analogy'. I think that ADD'ers have an uncommon [Dx analogy: abnormal] tendency [Dx: disorder, or worse...], or I would say, affinity, to analogize [even if that's not a word it's close enough for now]. And probably pretty much incorrigibly.

I stitch it together this way:

- The mind has difficulty filtering the many streams of input (from the outside) and input (from the inside) and tends to segue alot, characteristically kind of running off the tracks, getting spun out into mind-weeds, so to speak. But, good, over-achieving soldiers that we are, we march [not] unperturbed into battle, and undoubtedly have awarded ourselves many purple hearts over the years. And of course we never seem to [really, really] GET [on top of] IT!

- Unfortunately (probably) we actually have ingrained a somewhat 'mutated' thought [maybe even semi-unconscious!] stream, which when retrieved, comes back somewhat mutated!
- And sequences of them get compounded-ly more problematical. But make for good deja vu!

The analogy connection is that sometimes, if not most often, it's not exactly the continuation of a thread that recurs but the mutation of it, and that is likely to be something 'close' (ie what side-tracked, or 'captured' one's imagination at the time of distraction, or possibly caused it, if muta-genitive!), ie an analagous thought. And, given the nature of memory, it is probably also stored, and given the nature of ADD, it is probably somewhat truncated/mutated (at least somewhat discombobulated), too, and extended series of them can become quite confusing, to be sure!

Definitely gotta watch out for this ******! Probably a good idea to go back and re-code some of these turkeys, don't you think? But need to be pretty keerful! I mean, it talks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, but it ain't quite a duck: it's....it's....it's the AFLAC duck of the mind!!! And it keeps showing up and trying to warn you but you just can't GET UP!!! A-F-L-A-C!!!!

This brings us (me and 'firesign theatre', at least), to your first 3 words in ADD:
- driven
- to
- distraction
.

-- There are various tidbits that link together in this strange mental fabric (segue'd thread ticks some key ones off), but I'll leave the gory details for follow-ons.) For now:

 
Old 04-30-2004, 06:37 AM   #13
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

I was just diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder, but I have also had OCD and ADD symptoms for a long time...can that be...can I be all three? And if it's so...what herbal meds can I take for it?

 
Old 05-01-2004, 07:42 AM   #14
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

Hi! Short answer: it seems to be so. There is less (if not little) known about the underlying pathological basis of any of the related "disorders", but alot more apparently "known" about the manifestations, or symptoms, which especially in the case of ADHD and BiPolar are or can be significantly "overlapping". That is, the same symptoms appear in cases which eventually get diagnosed as one, the other, or both.

Since diagnosis is often based on symptoms, and since symptoms are often caused by behavioral problems (possibly induced by an underlying psychological disorder), it becomes even more difficult to differentiate the disorders from a diagnostic (Dx) point of view.

Making this even more difficult is that people are just plain 'different' in that they can have different reactions to the same thing, which is especially true concerning reactions to medications (Rx).

However, there are what they call "classical" cases that can help docs (and patients) to appreciate the more clearcut cases. You probably are familiar with the book/movie "A Beautiful Mind", which portrays a classical case of schizophrenia. A classical or at least severe case of BiPolar is personified by Carrie Fisher, who has written at least 2 related books, "Postcards from the Edge" (also a movie) and "The Best Awful" (recently published). Dr. Hallowell, the author of "Driven to Distraction" is apparently a classical case of ADHD, and that book covers overlapping symptoms in detail, and also suggests that ADHD, at least, has a genetic connection. There have been studies, most notably through MGH, trying to differentiate BiPolar and ADHD.

I won't attempt to relate the various characteristics of each of the most strongly related disorders (e.g. ADHD, BiPolar, GAD, Schizophrenia, etc.) but will say that the classical "orthogonal" (i.e. pure forms) cases are not the most common but do help to classify people who have more of one form than another, and also those who apparently have multiple forms.

I think that in studying/understanding more about the 'purer' and more overlapping characteristics, you might be able to better appreciate yourself where you fit in the 'spectrum'. At least I think you will get a better appreciation of the complexity of Dx and Rx.

Best wishes and please do some homework/study!

 
Old 05-01-2004, 08:04 AM   #15
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Re: Overlapping Symptoms (ADD/Panic/OCD/Bipolar)

As for the herbal meds part of your question, I would recommend looking through other threads here and in the other related topics, esp. BiPolar and Schizophrenia in addition to ADD. For BiPolar herbal meds, maybe you can start by following a search using "Evaluating Supplements, Herbs and Vitamins". Good luck!

 
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