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Distinguishing Between Bipolar Disorder And ADHD

the difference between bipolar disorder and ADHDIntroduction

Bipolar Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are similar to one another.  However, they are also different from one another.  How are these two disorders different from one another?  This article will answer this particular question.  This article will provide readers with the differences between Bipolar Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Age Of Onset

The first distinguishing factor between Bipolar Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is age of onset.  According to additudemag.com, “ADHD is a lifelong condition, with symptoms apparent (although not necessarily impairing) by age seven. While we now recognize that children can develop BMD, this is still considered rare. The majority of people who develop BMD have their first episode of affective illness after age 18, with a mean age of 26 years at diagnosis.”  Therefore, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can develop in as early as seven years old, while Bipolar Disorder is known to develop in early adulthood.

Duration Of Moods

In addition to age of onset, another factor that will be discussed that distinguishes Bipolar Disorder from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is duration of moods.  According to additudemag.com, “ADHD mood shifts are usually measured in hours. The mood shifts of BMD, by DSM-IV definition, must be sustained for at least two weeks. For instance, to present “rapid-cycling” bipolar disorder, a person needs to experience only four shifts of mood, from high to low or low to high, in a 12-month period. Many people with ADHD experience that many mood shifts in a single day.”  Therefore, to explain further, the mood shifts of an individual with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are measured in hours, while the mood shifts of an individual with Bipolar Disorder are measured over the course of a two week period.

Mood Triggers

One final distinguishing factor between Bipolar Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is mood triggers.  According to additudemag.com, “People with ADHD are passionate, and have strong emotional reactions to events, or triggers, in their lives. Happy events result in intensely happy, excited moods. Unhappy events — especially the experience of being rejected, criticized, or teased — elicit intensely sad feelings. With BMD, mood shifts come and go without any connection to life events.”  Therefore, to explain, mood triggers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are highly tied to life events, while mood triggers with Bipolar Disorder are not tied to life events.

Conclusion

Despite the similarities between the two articles, it can be concluded based on the information provided in this article that Bipolar Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are quite different from one another, as well.

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Distinguishing Between Bipolar Disorder And ADHD


Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!


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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). Distinguishing Between Bipolar Disorder And ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 24, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/coping-depression/2016/09/distinguishing-between-bipolar-disorder-and-adhd/

 

Last updated: 23 Sep 2016
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