Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

Part of the ADD ADHD dilemma or Bipolar?

The Adder Dilemma! What is it?

I have decided that once a week I will address the most interesting subject from your emails in a Blog Article and this week’s will deal with: is it ADD ADHD or Bipolar? In a recent email a reader asked me if ADHD can be misdiagnosed as Bipolar. The simple answer You MUST see a Doctor for diagnosis! and the definite answer is, please, see a doctor—I am not a doctor.  I cannot answer that question; however, I can give you my personal opinion, but remember it is only another Adder’s opinion and nothing more than that. You must see a doctor for such inquiries. There are many tests and evaluations one must go through. I cannot, and clearly will not, give you any medical advice other than that you see a Doctor! –so there! However, I have this for you:

ADD and ADHD present a lot of obstacles in one’s life, but one of the most frustrating obstacles is the frequency of being up and then back down again. ADD and ADHD is not only an organizational, impulsive and distractive type of disorder, it is also one that effects emotions day in and day out. It’s no wonder that Bipolar is known to be comorbid with ADD ADHD and sometimes ADD ADHD is misdiagnosed as Bipolar and vice versa. It really does not surprise me and I will tell you why.  (I am providing a link below where it is suggested that ADHD and Bipolar may be a distinct nosological entity.)

Disappointment, feelings of being a failure, depression and low self-esteem are often reported by those who suffer from ADD and ADHD, but it is also reported that Adders feel elation, happiness, creativeness, cheeriness, fun and success! I have felt all of the above several times, in no specific order and in the same day. Life is a road leading through peaks and valleys and we Adders can’t seem to find the straightaway highways which are constantly straight and smooth,–at least not without therapy.

When we succeed we are elated and celebrate and when we fail we are upset and can become depressed. We succeed and we fail daily on both large and small levels and it can be frustrating – you are not alone. This can come across to others as perhaps a bipolar disorder. Sometimes frustration gives into anger and this can be seen as mania by those who are not professionally trained to identify true disorders. Many of us have sought treatment for this reason specifically and the bright side is that treatment does help smooth out and straighten those roads! Simply learning why we do what we do and that we are not alone has a major impact and is the reason I created Adder World.

Living an emotional rollercoaster as an Adder is not unheard of and is actually common, especially when untreated, but always seek professional medical advice for any diagnosis! Some disorders can be very similar to another and sometimes disorders can be comorbid.



For more information please follow these links:

“ADHD more commonly occurs alone (about 20 percent of children with a primary diagnosis of ADHD have bipolar disorder as well), but the two share several characteristics—hyperactivity, distractibility, irritability, decreased need for sleep, and temper tantrums. But, Weller said, there are also characteristic differences in the presentation of the two.” Elizabeth Weller, M.D    Here:

To get answers online about your child from a pediatrician go here:

Dr. Doug Cowan Psy.D., M.S. answers ADD ADHD questions online:


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