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Thursday, June 28, 2012

ADHD and Bipolar

Over the last year I have heard a few accounts of Bipolar patients being treated with ADHD medications. Through my intense scouring of Bipolar research I learned the conditions are often co-morbid. I have a knowledgeable PhD Psychology friend to whom I posed the question, "how exactly do ADHD medications work?" After hearing his explanation (of which I am too lazy to write about. lol) I got the impression they may bolster racing thoughts.
I have a great relationship with my Psychiatrist so I discussed the possibility of using ADHD medication to help with my racing thoughts. Racing thoughts disrupt my life more than any other Bipolar symptom, aside from not sleeping. She had me fill out two questionnaires and......diagnosed me as ADHD! Haha. I was so surprised. I had misconceived notions as to what ADHD truly was. I always thought it manifested as the wild kid in class who couldn't hold still or the kid who couldn't concentrate and got bad grades. I always excelled at school and while I am energetic and chatty, I never thought it possible it could partially be related to ADHD. I am so often irked by the judgmental and biased view of Bipolar Disorder and yet I was completely     off base with my view of ADHD. 
Long story short, we began treating me for ADHD and the results have been AMAZING! My mood is exponentially better and my thoughts are more easily managed. I can concentrate on the important things and my paranoid, obsessive thoughts about things that may be irrational are kept at bay. Well, throughout the day anyway. I can tell when the medication wears off. I find it comparable to the "sun downing" in Alzheimer's patients. I am working with different strategies to combat my thoughts at night, but it is helpful to have my days enjoyed with a clear mind. My husband has noticed a huge difference and I find my family life more fulfilled. 
I am not saying everyone with Bipolar is ADHD, but I wish I had looked into it sooner. I have said it before and I will say it over and over again, I HATE TAKING MEDICINE! The possible side effects of long term use terrify me, That said, I am grateful to have control of my life. I have come to the conclusion I would rather have a fulfilled life and risk side effects than live in chaos. 


Ben said...

Very cool.

Ben said...

Assuming I was your Psychologist friend, my analogy was that of a lava lamp.(And it sounds like it wasn't a good one, cuz yeah, stimulants don't "bolster" racing thoughts). In my analogy, the colors of the lava lamp reflect one's mood. Mood stabilizers help the flow of the lava lamp. Stimulants make them brighter, more defined and therefore understood. Anyways...enough of my dumb analogies...Love the blog1

The Bollinger Family said...

I like the analogies. They make sense to those of us who aren't schooled in all things psychology. :)