It is estimated that three to five percent of school-age children suffer from the disorder known as ADHD while less than one percent of children in this same group have bipolar disorder. It is common for the small percentage of children who have bipolar disorder to receive the misdiagnosis of ADHD as some of the symptoms are similar and ADHD is more common, however, the forms of treatment given for the ADHD do not work for the bipolar disorder. In some cases, children may have both adhd and manic depression.
Primary Difference between ADHD and Bipolar
One of the issues when it comes to making a diagnosis between ADHD and bipolar disorder is that there are a few symptoms that are quite similar in both disorders which include lack of impulse control, short attention span, and hyperactivity. However, there is one of the primary differences between these two disorders.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder where as ADHD is an attention and behavioral problem. Another difference is that the "episodes" with the symptoms of bipolar tend to occur less frequently while the symptoms of ADHD tend to be more chronic.
Anger and Behavior Differences of Bipolar and ADHD
With ADHD, when a child experiences anger this is typically out of frustration or overstimulation and any destructive behavior is unintentionally done or careless. When the symptom of anger in manic depression occurs, the destructive behavior is typically done intentionally and this emotional state of anger tends to last longer for perhaps up to two hours while children with ADHD can generally be calmed down within a much shorter period of time.
Another symptom of bipolar disorder present in children which is typically not present in ADHD is psychosis which manifests itself in unrealistic thoughts such as believing things like they truly have the ability to fly or they posses some form of "superpowers".