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Do you really have ADHD or is it something else?

T

Traveler5

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I have often wondered if all my ADHD symptoms could be explained by the symptoms of other disorders and the medications I'm taking. For example, is my lack of attention and focus and hyperactivity caused by the anxiety coming from my GAD disorder and/or the constant, nagging restlessness caused by taking antipsychotics for Bipolar? See what I mean? What do you think?
 
Tawny

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I have always wondered if my ADHD was actually bipolar disorder. Maybe i should have been diagnosed with emerging bipolar disorder and not ADHD.
 
AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

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I'm interested in this subject, because I'm diagnosed bipolar and with EUPD traits, but wonder if some/a lot of my symptoms might actually be ADHD related. I also feel I have a lot of autistic traits. Might be explained by both/all of them ofc, dual diagnosis so to speak.

Are you both diagnosed with ADHD? I'm wondering whether to pursue a diagnosis, and whether it would be helpful, or just another 'label' to add to my list of mh ones.
 
T

Traveler5

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I'm interested in this subject, because I'm diagnosed bipolar and with EUPD traits, but wonder if some/a lot of my symptoms might actually be ADHD related. I also feel I have a lot of autistic traits. Might be explained by both/all of them ofc, dual diagnosis so to speak.

Are you both diagnosed with ADHD? I'm wondering whether to pursue a diagnosis, and whether it would be helpful, or just another 'label' to add to my list of mh ones.
Yes. I have been diagnosed with ADHD, Bipolar II, and GAD. So, are my ADHD symptoms actually caused by Bipolar and GAD (and it's not ADHD at all), or the other way around?
 
T

Traveler5

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Aliceinwonderland -- I really like your forum signature: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about".
 
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I don't know what mix of designations applies to me. I have some symptoms of ADHD, am clearly on the bipolar spectrum, and have an abnormal level of anxiety.

Bipolar meds help, ADHD meds (Dex and Guanfacine) help, tranquilizers and sleepers help, and I even have an antidepressant in the mix because it prevents migraines.

I often wonder if Dex is treating Bipolar depression more than it treats ADHD, but I go with the flow since I can tell it's helping something.
 
AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

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Aliceinwonderland -- I really like your forum signature: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about".
Thank you. I like yours about not judging too, very good principle 👍

Sorry, too tired to talk about anything of consequence tonight, I'll reply another time about ADHD stuff :peace:
 
AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

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Yes. I have been diagnosed with ADHD, Bipolar II, and GAD. So, are my ADHD symptoms actually caused by Bipolar and GAD (and it's not ADHD at all), or the other way around?
It's such a puzzle to pull apart isn't it. Have you had this conversation with your psychiatrist/family doctor? Which diagnosis came first? And was it the same doctor who diagnosed you with all of them? Here I think ADHD might be treated by a different team of medics to the team who treat Bipolar, GAD etc, but I'm not 100% sure.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar (II also, same as you), 30 years ago. There wasn't hardly any awareness of ADHD back then I don't think.

It's interesting, I was having a conversation with a friend who suffers anxiety yesterday, and she was saying she thinks her anxiety largely arises from having to mask her autistic behaviour to fit in with a neurotypical world.

I haven't been on any meds for ADHD, I'm not diagnosed (but might pursue this), so I do wonder what effect they'd have. I was on a med that's used for GAD once, but was prescribed it for nerve pain from a trapped nerve (pregabalin), and it was amazing to feel so relaxed about everything, but in the end I felt I was a little too relaxed, and it didn't really solve the pain issue, so I wasn't on it long.
 
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AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

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I don't know what mix of designations applies to me. I have some symptoms of ADHD, am clearly on the bipolar spectrum, and have an abnormal level of anxiety.

Bipolar meds help, ADHD meds (Dex and Guanfacine) help, tranquilizers and sleepers help, and I even have an antidepressant in the mix because it prevents migraines.

I often wonder if Dex is treating Bipolar depression more than it treats ADHD, but I go with the flow since I can tell it's helping something.
So hard to know isn't it with meds. They treat whatever they have an affect on I suppose, it's not like they can be exactly targeted, like 'this one treats x and only x, this one treats y', I guess they sometimes all have effects on different symptoms regardless of what label is used to explain those symptoms iyswim?

I think anxiety often goes along with neurodivergent conditions (ADHD, ASD etc), because it's just so hard to live in a world where neurodivergence isn't accommodated for? There's the constant pressure of trying to appear 'normal' by the standards of a neurotypical world. I constantly find myself reining myself in, stopping myself being 'too much', too intense. Worrying about whether people think I'm strange, and feeling anxious about whether I'm conforming to 'normal' patterns of behaviour. Eye contact for instance, what is the normal amount, am I appearing to make eye contact too much or too little? This all makes me very on edge quite often. Whether that qualifies as anxiety, I don't know.
 
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SFGuy

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Sounds like anxiety to me, but I would take anything that works (except antipsychotics — scared of TD).
 
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