I came across this article awhile back and found it interesting.
It shed some light for me as to why they gave Little Bear the Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder diagnosis rather than Bipolar to start with. It’s a precautionary measure and even though I have Bipolar, I have two siblings with ADHD hyperactive type.
Reading this article, I’ve come to realize that Little Bear is presenting symptoms of both disorders – which is reflected and noted in his neuropsych eval. So they are observing him for both. It won’t be until the teen years when the more classic symptoms of Bipolar start to become clear that anyone can be sure.
The tricky part here is the treatment options in the way of meds. Stimulants are used to treat ADHD and those tend to make the Bipolar symptoms worse, BUT if you leave the ADHD untreated, the Bipolar symptoms could be aggravated anyway. So some individuals who have both disorders do get better while on a stimulant because the ADHD isn’t fueling the hypomania/mania at that point. Like all meds, it’s a gamble and a bit of trial and error.
Caffeine is supposed to be a no-no for those with Bipolar. I’m not disputing that, but I’m not running around off the rails even though I drink far above the upper limit of caffeine intake normal people should be drinking. My siblings seem unfazed by caffeine as well.
You know, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that I have ADHD of some kind when my neuropsych comes around. Probably not the hyperactive type though. I suspect if I did, it would be more along the lines of attentive deficit for me. Focus and concentration has always been an issue for me unless I’m hypomanic – then it’s all about “the project” for me.
Who knows? But that’s the point of getting a neuropsych eval done. To find out, clear things up, and know for sure what’s going on.