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ADHD other psychiatric conditions - Which is it?

I just feel like let's get this out there! I've been doing a ton of research on this because what is there else to do at 10 pm after your child has been diagnosed and you're panicking about everything? My daughter's original diagnosis was bipolar. After a ton of testing she was ALSO diagnosed ADHD. - inattentive. Turns out ADHD is highly comorbid with other psychiatric conditions. ADHD, ODD, OCD and other learning disabilities are often diagnosed together.

Which is all well and good until you are living with it, right? My daughter takes medication for the mania, which usually controls it, and also take Concerta for the ADHD. Sometimes I think her depression and actions are the bipolar and then sometimes I think it's just the ADHD. Today we had an incident at the store that was pure ADHD (I think) and then this afternoon this:

Me: It's almost the end of the 2018!

Her: what?

Me: Yes, it's going to be 2019. I know it's been hard and I'm so proud of how far you've come!

Her: *odd look overtakes her face - looks around the room frantically*

Me: What? what's wrong?

Her: I don't want it to be the end of 2018.

Me: Umm. well, there's not much we can do about it, it just sort of comes

Her: But I haven't finished the things I want to!! *tears well up in her eyes* and I haven't made any friends...

Me: No,'s ok honey, *reaches out to hug her*

Her: You don't understand and you NEVER will *stomps off angrily*

ADHD or the bipolar? they share so many of the same characteristics that it's so hard to tell. This roller coaster! Anyone else have a dual diagnosis or suspect a dual diagnosis? What do you guys think?

10 Replies

That might be anxiety. My daughter has severe anxiety and ADHD and gets very worked up about milestones, holidays, transitions etc etc. Freaking out about 2018 ending is just the kind of thing my daughter would do. The ADHD messes with her sense of time which is anxiety provoking. And then the anxiety on its own gives weight to stuff that feels minimal to the rest of us. I try to take her concerns seriously while also trying to show her that things will be ok/manageable on the other side. Maybe you could have a low key New Year’s date to celebrate the accomplishments of the year ... You could talk about what’s coming up in 2019 just to ease the anxiety of the unknown - and also focus on how much you love her no matter what. You had a big year, too - celebrate your own accomplishments too!

Camos1985- I know this might sound strange, but as long as she is able to deal with things (to me) it wouldn't matter what is causing it. Right? It could be her hormones. I am not sure a label would change things.. I hope that comes across ok.. but in that conversation, I would with any child, I would say it might not feel any different and anything you want to do can also be done in 2019. I think all children fear certain things and ending a year is hard.

If she is taking her medication and things are moving along I would not try to guess about the behavior.

Hope this makes sense.

Best of luck.

in reply to Onthemove1971

It does. Sometimes I just need to hear that, although I worry about all the implications about all the diagnoses I guess as long as we are dealing with them all we are moving forward. Thank you...back on the road....

Ahh comorbidities - a hot mess of fun! Lol!

Honestly, unless it involves drastically different treatment options, I would focus more on dealing with the symptoms than trying to pinpoint which diagnosis. It takes some time for me to wrap my brain around that concept, because I want to KNOW so i can better fix it - but with so many overlapping possibilities, it can drive you crazy. With my son, I feel like I’m trying to sleuth out what behavior is ADHD, what is Tourette (of which he tries to blame every annoying behavior on tics), what is something possibly unknown, what is just being a 6 year old boy, and what is just him. And ultimately, it works better for me to look at it more holistically- it’s all him! Now, how do I help him?

That being said, I will add that emotional dysregulation is a strong component of ADHD, so you could be looking at that. It use to be part of the diagnosis, and some doctors are pushing to have it added back in.

Anxiety? Depression?

The psychiatrist tells me that all of these diagnoses have similar symptoms, and the important thing is to get them stable. It is good to hear for the most part your daughter is doing well.

Ugh. And that is where I bury myself in hours with doctor google. As though together we will discover “the cure”! It’s been about 25 hours a day of this colab between myself and google and I’ve yet to find the secrets of life. I actually have both bipolar and anxiety disorders (I try not to brag about that though ;)). The mood swings, even treated, don’t disappear even medicated are less stressful to me but it still takes work and patience on my part to keep things manageable. It is really exhausting.

New year is hard because society makes one of the only clear finish and start marks during your LivingSocial years. It is hard to look backward with regrets that cannot be righted. And the issue of making friends has to be one of the most heart shattering statements a parent can hear. Being new here in the school and state and all my daughter has made one single connection she sees as a friend and is all over me today to text her mom to see if she can come over. Even though I did that. At the start of vaca, proactively. And got what I see as a blow off. But how do I tell my daughter that with out me being the witch who shatters her world??

Personally I am looking closer at the starting of the new year which I have honest to god never put anything into before. I’m using it as a time to lust things big and small that I (hope) will bring me new happiness and purpose. And I am allowing myself to be selfish and get excited.

Let’s end this year. And start living my best life. Tomorrow.

Hugs to your sweet girl, I hope some of what I said helps put a different spin for her 💕

Do you take her to see a therapist, someone she can talk to? I say that because of the part where she says you never understand, I felt that way growing up since I was very little

Oh yes. She has had her own counselor for years now. We also see a therapist together and we have a pediatric psychiatric NP. Plus she has the counselors at school. We really do have a great therapeutic team!

Thank you so much everyone! Sometimes I just need to be talked back away from the ledge, you guys are the best!!!

Hey there, agree with others, what does it matter what you name it? I mean geez, it will probably have a different dx code in 10 years. She stresses about weird stuff, what's the pill for that? Order me a semi-full please. 😃. I dunno, I wish I did. Sorry, no help. Hugs.

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