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ADHD w/ SAD vs. BPD (wow that's a lot of letters)


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i was diagnosed unipolar depressed and w/ social anxiety about 5 yrs ago.  was on zoloft and loved it.

it became apparent that my depression was seasonal, so my diagnosis was changed to SAD (seasonal affective disorder) w/ social anxiety.

moved across the country, changed med insurance, saw a new shrinky dink, i became bipolar II....  granted, i can be overly talkative, and VERY impuslive and distractible.  but i have never felt what i consider a manic episode.

so i was diagnosed a year or so ago...  went on a low-ish dose (75 to start, then up to 125) of lamictal and i am doing better but not fabulous.  my anxiety is back, and i can feel depression creeping in now that it is starting to be fall.

now i've changed docs *once again* and this one thinks i have SAD, social anxiety and ADHD...

my question (finally):

is there a way for me to tease out "hypomania" vs adhd symptoms ??

random possible "clues":

i have had intense episodes of rage - usually alcohol induced, i'm a horrible drunk - where i've threatened to throw things at my husband.  violent screaming, and utterly incontrollable.  these have reduced, if not disappeared since starting lamictal. 

i have gone on pretty crazy shopping sprees but i've done that since being on lamictal too.

i am VERY impulsive, and i've started school again recently and am having a hard time focusing, organizing, and remembering things. 

i've never been able to function on less than 8 hrs of sleep. 

my job history jumps all over the place and in college (which i barely made it through) i think i had 5 different majors....

adhd?  hypomania?  time to just jump off a building?

anybody have ANY feedback?  i'm stumped and confused and bewildered....

;)

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  • 1 month later...

My new p-doc says their is a tremendous overlap between the bipolar spectrum, ADD/ADHD and SAD.  He said a lot of bipolars tend to have a seasonal componant to their symptoms, being more prone to depression in the winter and then bouncing back to far in the spring.  ADHD and hypomania have to be difficult, if not impossible to differenciate if in fact their is some bipolar stuff going on.

Fortunately for me, I've been able to find employment flexible enough to work around the ADHD issues and sometimes it can even be an asset.  It's not uncommon for more to put several computer monitors in front of me to display vast amounts of information at a time. I often opt to work on several different projects at once rather than sticking to one, which I find nearly impossible to do, but in the end the work gets done.  Because of this, p-doc is reluctant to treat ADHD as a separate problem from bi-polar. 

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you sound a lot like me.  i actually am now "officially" sad w/ adhd... we've ruled out bipolar disorder.  i'm doing great on 50 mg of zoloft.

so maybe you want to push the issue on adhd.  i'm no pdoc, all i know is bipolar disorder has really been a trendy dx, and in my case, it was wrong.

not sure how your pdoc will react, but i told mine the truth.  just told her in college i abused stims and told her how i felt on what dosages.  i think i am way more concerned than she is about pxing me a stimulant; she considered that self medicating.  she told me she has one adhd patient who used to manufacture meth, and he's doing great on an average sized dosage of adderall....  so i think basically honesty is the best policy here. she also pointed out that it gets very hard to abuse a px when they don't replace lost ones, they only fill it for a month, she checks in w/ me every 3 wks, etc. 

if you have established a fairly honest relationship w/ your pdoc then i don't think he'll be shocked to find out you experimented a little.

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