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    Old 03-26-2004, 05:04 PM   #1
    BetsyAnn
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    Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    What are the behavioral differences in young children with adhd or bipolar?

     
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    Old 03-29-2004, 03:04 AM   #2
    Redhead23
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    Re: Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    I found this while googling bipolar childhood ADHD (give it a try!):

    "Q: If the child is fidgety and inattentive and hyperactive, isn't the correct diagnosis attention-deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD)? Or, if the child is oppositional, wouldn't oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD) be the correct diagnosis?

    A: Several studies have reported that over 80 percent of children who have early-onset bipolar disorder will meet full criteria for ADHD. It is possible that the disorders are co-morbid--appearing together--or that ADHD-like symptoms are a part of the bipolar picture. Also, the ADHD symptoms may simply appear first on the continuum of a developing disorder.

    Children with bipolar disorder exhibit much more irritability, labile mood, grandiose behavior, and sleep disturbances-- often accompanied by night terrors (nightmares filled with gore and life-threatening content)--than do children with ADHD.

    Because stimulant medications may exacerbate a bipolar disorder and induce an episode or negatively influence the cycling pattern of a bipolar disorder, bipolar disorder should be ruled out first, before a stimulant is prescribed.

    Almost all the children in our study of 120 boys and girls diagnosed with bipolar disorder met criteria for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Again, the child should be evaluated for a possible bipolar disorder."

    Another one:

    (COBPD = Chindhood Onset Bi Polar Disorder)

    "An estimated 50 percent to 80 percent of those with COBPD have ADHD as a co-occuring diagnosis.

    Since stimulant medications often prescribed for ADHD (Dexedrine, Adderall, Ritalin, Cylert) have been known to escalate the mood and behavioral fluctuations in those with COBPD, it is important to address the bipolar disorder before the attention-deficit disorder in such cases. Some clinicians suggest that the prescription of a stimulant for a child genetically predisposed to develop bipolar disorder may induce an earlier onset or negatively influence the cycling pattern of the illness.

    What is the difference between ADHD and COBPD?

    Several studies have reported that more than 80 percent of children who go on to develop COBPD have five or more of the primary symptoms of ADHD-distractibility, lack of attention to details, difficulty following through on tasks or instructions, motor restlessness, difficulty waiting one's turn, and interrupting or intruding upon others. In fact, difficulties with attention are so common in children that ADHD is often diagnosed instead of bipolar disorder. Actually, ADHD often appears before a clear development of the frequent alternating mood swings and prolonged temper tantrums associated with COBPD.

    While the symptoms of COBPD and ADHD may be similar, their origins differ. For instance, destructiveness and misbehavior are seen in both disorders, but these behaviors often seem intentional in those with COBPD and caused more by carelessness or inattention in those with ADHD. Physical outbursts and temper tantrums, also features of both disorders, are triggered by sensory and emotional overstimulation in those with ADHD but can be caused by limit-setting (e.g., a simple "No" from a parent) in those with COBPD.

    Furthermore, while those with ADHD seem to calm down after such outbursts within 15 to 30 minutes, those with COBPD often continue to feel angry, sometimes for hours. It is important to note that children with COBPD are often remorseful following temper tantrums and express that they are unable to control their anger.

    Other symptoms, such as irritability and sleep disturbances often accompanied by night terrors with morbid, life-threatening content (e.g., nuclear war or attacking animals), are commonly seen in those with COBPD but are rarely associated with ADHD. "
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    Last edited by Redhead23; 03-29-2004 at 03:13 AM.

     
    Old 03-29-2004, 01:41 PM   #3
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    Re: Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    Redhead, thanks for the info. It was very helpful. My 6 year old is in the proccess of being evaluated for adhd. After the 1st round of papers (teacher and parent evaluated) the pediatrician (who was very careful not to say he had bi-polar) said his "scores were more indicative of someone with a mood disorder such as anxiety, depression or bipolar. He has such sudden mood swings, I have really feared he may be bipolar. He actually fits the adhd profile from the information you posted and not so much the bi-polar. I feel equipped to handle adhd but bi-polar terrifies me.

    Do you have any personal experience with bi-polar children?

    Last edited by BetsyAnn; 03-29-2004 at 01:43 PM.

     
    Old 03-30-2004, 03:41 AM   #4
    Redhead23
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    Re: Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    "Do you have any personal experience with bi-polar children?"

    No, but differential diagnosis of similar-looking disorders fascinates me.

    FYI ADHD with ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) can often look a lot like COBPD as well.

    Anxiety and depression are frequent comorbid conditions with ADHD, they can however also lead to attentional problems and anger/aggression on their own.


    With the right treatment, I think Bipolar is just as manageable as ADHD - a difficult child is a difficult child, no matter what the label is. The label just helps you and the specialists looking after the child (medically/psychologically) to address the child's problems mroe efficently and accurately
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    Last edited by Redhead23; 03-30-2004 at 03:42 AM.

     
    Old 03-30-2004, 07:22 PM   #5
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    Re: Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    Thanks Redhead. You have been very helpful.

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 12:13 PM   #6
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    Re: Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    BetsyAnn..
    In surveying my sons symptoms he had all of the ADHD ones and moved into some of the "mood disorders" grouping. I agree, it is very scary. He was put on Conerta for the ADHD symptoms and a anti depressent at night (he no longer has vivid nightmares). After the Concerta kicked in it was easier to evaluate and monitor the additional symptoms. Some have been handled with counseling and others may require addtional medications in the future. Overall, things are improved and we continue family therapy twice a month.
    Good Luck

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 08:43 PM   #7
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    Re: Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    Leslie, I am so glad things are working out well for your son. My son has also been on Concerta for just under a month. It has worked really well for him. He has control over his emotions for the first time in his life. We haven't observed a single negative side effect. His personality is totally in tack and he has the same delightful sense of humor. I am feeling very optomistic. I hope things continue to go well for you also.

     
    Old 10-01-2005, 09:04 AM   #8
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    Re: Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    What is an effective approach to treatment when your child is both bipolar AND ADD? We treated my daughter (age 11) for the bipolar first and stabalyzed the moods (she is a rapid cycler) she would cry daily, threaten suicide, move the furniture around the house (never would think she could even do this by herself). Lamictal fixed this. BUT she is failing in school, cant focus, cant turn in assignments, cant remember what she needs to do, cant complete her HW without me sitting next to her telling her to move on to the next problem. We tried Adderol and Ridilin and she started going into fits of rage, slamming doors, kicking me, running away, back to the threatening suicide. I took her off that and the Dr told me these 2 meds correct the problem for 99% of all ADD kids. Anything that you know of to try?

     
    Old 10-04-2005, 07:30 PM   #9
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    Re: Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    Thanks for the info. My 11 year old has every symptom of ADHD and most of the bi-polar as well. He goes into a rage and sometimes even cries when he doesn't get his way. Most of the time he starts yelling and throwing and destroying things. He has never threatened suicide (knock on wood) but he does every so often go into a everybody hates me mode. He also will be fine one minute and then all of a sudden he blows up. It somtimes takes a long time to calm him down. He is going to see a neurologist next month so maybe they'll find out for sure what's really wrong with him. Every doctor he's ever been to only looked at his having ADHD. They never even considered him having anything else. I told the doctor he has now that I thought he also has ODD because he has every symptom of that too and he just blew it off saying it might just be his coming down off the medicine. I know there's more to it than that because it isn't only just when he comes down off his medicine. It happenes in the mornging even before he's had his medicine!

     
    Old 10-10-2005, 07:42 PM   #10
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    Re: Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    I really am glad to read this. My daughter age 9 is driving me wild! I had her on Staterra for quite some time which didn't do much and now she is on Metadate to try. This girl is wound up like an 8 day clock most of the time. She has the nastiest mood swings, difient (sp?) does not know the word no! She almost reminds me of the girl Rhoda on the movie "The Bad Seed"! She can be the sweetest calmest thing one minute and tazmanian devil the next.... I never thought about her having anything else but ADHD but now I kinda wonder if it can't be something else. Any input or advice? Thanks, Jules

     
    Old 10-11-2005, 07:20 PM   #11
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    Re: Difference between adhd and bipolar in children

    Get her to see a neurologist to check for other things. My son is FINALLY going to see one next month. Some docs (like my son's) automatically go for ADHD and don't check for anything else. I'd checkl and see. More times than not ADHD goes along with other things.

     
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