Is It ADHD or Bipolar Disorder?
Studies show that up to 15 percent of young children diagnosed with ADHD actually have bipolar disorder, a debilitating disorder that until recently was rarely diagnosed in children.
Research suggests that bipolar disorder that begins in childhood may be a different and possibly more severe form of the disorder than that suffered by those with adolescent and adult-onset forms of the disorder. Studies show children who are bipolar are likely to suffer the following symptoms:
Night terrors and nightmares filled with blood and gore
Feelings of elation and grandiosity
Racing thoughts and ideas
Less need for sleep
If your child has ADHD, he will demonstrate symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention all the time and in a variety of settings, such as at home, at school, and with friends. Children with BPD, in contrast, tend to go back and forth between feeling sad and depressed to a state in which they feel manic and wired and are unable to sleep, relax, slow down, or even eat for hours or days on end. They also are prone to drastic mood swings accompanied by explosive temper tantrums that may repeat themselves up to twenty times daily.