Is It Bipolar Disorder or ADHD?

I’ve had ADD since I was very young and in school. But in the 60’s ADD was not diagnosed disease.   I went through life struggling  and not being able to succeed in anything – especially work.

I’ve been confused over the last four years on whether or not the Bipolar is actually the ADD since bipolar medications were not working.  One doctor would say I had bipolar the other would ask if I thought I had bipolar.  I DON’T KNOW THAT’S YOUR JOB!  All the medications were doing were just medicating me, and making me feel sick all the time. Because of my Hepatitis C the only medication I could take at the time was Lithium.  I was told it didn’t affect the liver, but it did affect the kidney’s.  The last doctor said I wasn’t taking enough Lithium to do any good but enough to harm me.  He said, ‘You have a dead brain.  Nice thing to say, huh?  So why am I on medicine that’s not helping.  I don’t feel doctors have gone in great lengths to diagnose what I have or had.

I’m convinced after two weeks of being off Bipolar medications and feeling better than I have ever had – Bipolar was not the correct diagnoses.  I’m mad yet at peace in a way.  I did some research on Bipolar vs. ADHD and found they are similar but not the same –


Do I or do I not?

Do I or do I not?

1. Age of onset: 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.

2. Consistency of impairment: ADHD is chronic and always present. BMD comes in episodes that alternate with more or less normal mood levels.

3. Mood triggers: 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.

4. Rapidity of mood shift: Because ADHD mood shifts are almost always triggered by life events, the shifts feel instantaneous. They are normal moods in every way, except in their intensity. They’re often called “crashes” or “snaps,” because of the sudden onset. By contrast, the untriggered mood shifts of BMD take hours or days to move from one state to another.

5. Duration of moods: Although responses to severe losses and rejections may last weeks, 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.

6. Family history: Both disorders run in families, but individuals with ADHD almost always have a family tree with multiple cases of ADHD. Those with BMD are likely to have fewer genetic connections.

On number 3 – I don’t have mood swings.  When the doctor asks me how many times do I cycle I don’t know what to tell him because I don’t know.  To me it’s normal reactions.  In number 4 “they are normal moods in every way except intensity” is right on.

My mom has ADHD as well as my son and who know who else in my family especially mom’s side. She had to quit school when she was 14 and worked as a waitress most of her life.  I finally had to quit work because my mind was just not getting it any more.

Having being diagnosed with Bipolar felt like a death sentence.  I lost friends because they had heard bad things about people with bipolar.

June 22, 2008 – Struggling

Why do I do it?  I wish someone could answer that for me.  I got off work yesterday after a great day at work.  Of course, I was tired, my feet hurt, and of course, all I could think about was to relax.   The answer was to go to the liquor store and bought a small bottle of Vodka, tonic, and a bottle of red wine.  Went I got home I poured my vodka tonic and enjoyed a cigarette. It felt great! Did i feel guilty at the time? NO. I was convincing myself that it was okay since I don’t work today. My liver didn’t say okay, my blood pressure didn’t say okay, but my addict mind said got for it.

I drank a few glasses of vodka tonic, and then I opened the bottle of wine.  As usual I was watching TV, reading, and drinking.  Evidentially, I would fall asleep, and then I would wake up again, and pour another drink.  I did that all the way up to 5:30am this morning.  I put the booze up and made some coffee and read my Sunday paper.  But, I didn’t stop drinking the coffee until I ran out of cigarettes.  Is this a compulsive habit or an addict habit?    I want touch neither the rest of today. 

Before I broke my promise what I really really wanted to do was go home, fix a nice meal, write, read and maybe make a few jewelry pieces.  My mind keeps saying I’ll never quit, but my heart wants to.  I have a grandson that I want to watch grow and I don’t understand all of this.  What can I do?  I hate it!  I want to be normal whatever that is.

I need to stop this madness so that I can get on with my live and my business. I enjoy my photography, writing , making and designing my jewelry.  I’m good at it and with this madness it puts it all on the back burner.  I could have been making jewelry all night instead of the drinking.  Maybe somewhere inside of me I’m feeling down because business hasn’t been good.  The economy is putting a halt on people wanting to buy.  I hate what is going on and I HATE what I’m doing.

I need to feel successful.  But would that make me stop the madness?  I seem to live in a world of unconsciousness.  I don’t think before I leap. I just do it.  Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite, because I say I’m doing great, but then it’s not.

I’m rambling, because I have been up all night.  But I had to get this off my chest.  For those out there that do the same thing – this is not fun.  This is not the way to live your life.  I may not live to see my grandchildren grow, because I’m making stupid decisions.  I need help.  I need a friend.  Are there any friends out there?  Is there a guardian angel that would like to be in my ear and whisper that I can do it just be stronger?  I spent a lot of time in rehab, but it didn’t work. I just couldn’t wait to get out.  I thought I was okay, but when I felt lonely I would go astray.  I think that might be part of the problem, I’m lonely.  I’m a great person in a sad women’s body.  HELP!

I must remind you.  I have been up all night and my writing stinks!