ADHD and Bipolar Disorder can coexist in children. ADHD is a chronic biological disorder of the brain displaying behavioral symptoms like hyperactivity, lack of concentration and impulsivity. which are not age appropriate and impair the ability of the child to function normally.
The types of behaviour that challenge ADHD kids are actions like having to sit still during meals, lessons etc, focusing on tasks especially those that don’t interested them, and paying attention in class etc. They need to be continuously in motion, dashing around rather than walking, touching and playing with everything in sight, talking and fidgeting incessantly, wriggling toes, tapping pencils etc. Girls tend to be less disruptive than boys.
Some ADHD kids seem to lack the ability to think before they act or curb immediate reactions. They will often blurt out inappropriate comments, just grab a toy from another child because they want it and cant wait, or get upset and hit out because they are incapable of waiting their turn in games. With ADHD the display of emotions is often unrestrained, and consequences of their conduct seem to be disregarded.
Add bipolar symptoms and these children can be aggressive, anti-social, inconsiderate, argumentative and grumpy. Whilst the ADHD component might present difficulties in getting to sleep the bipolar component contributes to interrupted sleep and extraordinary amounts of time required to get up in the morning and most of the day trying to wake up.
With bipolar actions are deliberate;- if they walk into a wall its not due to clumsiness or distraction on their part as is often the case with ADHD but rather that they mean to be destructive and often occurs in anger and temper tantrums. The all too familiar bipolar mood swings can also occur.
Both ADHD and bipolar disorder can contribute to a lack of concentration and poor memory. Bipolar and unipolar disorders may include symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and even hyperactivity, so while generally the signs and symptoms of the disorders differ they can overlap.
If parenting a child with ADHD and Bipolar disorder, it is necessary to attend to the mood disorder first, then the ADHD. Mood disorders can be controlled, as can ADHD, although behaviour modification therapy and strong counselling are recommended for the continued health of the patient.