Editor’s note: This is a guest post written by Jennifer C. Carillo. For more info about Jennifer, see the “About the Author” section below the article.
If we look at the current statistics, we will be shocked to know that one out of ten children suffer from ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and about 2.4% of the world’s total population are afflicted with Bipolar Disorder. That sure doesn’t look good.
ADHD and Bipolar Disorder are two of the most common mental disorders which affect both children and adults from all walks of life, from different parts of the world. Both ADHD and Bipolar Disorder are life-long illnesses without cure. Both diseases have treatment options which will only help manage and control the symptoms but not cure the disease completely.
Symptoms, Types, Causes and Treatment of ADHD
Like Bipolar Disorder, the symptoms of ADHD are quite difficult to isolate and distinguish from the symptoms of other similar mental conditions such as psychosis, schizophrenia, anxiety, etc. All of them share some of the symptoms and this makes it very challenging to recognize if the symptoms manifested correspond to ADHD or Bipolar Disorder.
ADHD manifests in two primary symptoms – difficulty in focusing or paying attention and impulsiveness or hyperactivity characterized by overly fast thinking, talking and racing actions.
There are three known types of ADHD, namely:
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive – manifest symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness
- Predominantly Inattentive – lack of focus or inability to pay attention characterize the symptoms of this type.
- Combined Hyperactive-Impulsive and Inattentive – this type combines the symptoms of hyperactivity and inattentiveness.
ADHD is generally caused by the following:
- Genetic links or heredity – parents who are diagnosed with ADHD are likely to have children with disease.
- Chemical imbalance – abnormalities in the neurology and physiology of the brain causing malfunction of the brain neurotransmitters.
- Environment conditions – such as child’s diet, mother’s condition during pregnancy, home environment.
ADHD treatment options include prescribed medication, psychotherapy or behavioral management, counseling or a combination of any of these options. A correct diagnosis of this mental condition will help in determining the proper treatment option for the patient.
Symptoms, Types, Causes and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder, on the other hand, is another mental illness which is characterized by extreme mood swings that alternately cycles from mania to depression. Like ADHD, some symptoms of bipolar disorder overlap with ADHD symptoms making it difficult to have an accurate diagnosis of the disease.
There are three types of Bipolar Disorder:
- Bipolar disorder type 1 – also known as manic-depressive disorder where symptoms manifest through abrupt changes in mood or emotional condition, from extremely happy mood to major bouts of depression.
- Bipolar disorder type 2 – this is a milder version of bipolar disorder type 1, showing mild symptoms of mania and depression. The symptoms are less intense but with very tough depressive periods. This type will also see a period of normal behaviour in between.
- Mixed Bipolar Disorder – this type manifests manic and depressive symptoms at the same time, generally characterized by racing thoughts, high energy level and erratic behaviour.
Bipolar disorder is known to be caused by three factors, namely:
- Genetic links – the symptoms run in families and parents who are diagnosed with the disorder will have kids who stand the risk of having the symptoms to as much as 80%.
- Chemical imbalance – a malfunction in the neurons caused by chemical imbalance in the brain sends off wrong signals resulting to erratic behaviour.
- Environment factors – like exposure to drug or substance and alcohol abuse, child neglect or any other disruption in the normal emotional state of the person contribute to the onset of bipolar disorder symptoms.
Treatment options for Bipolar Disorder include prescribed medication or drugs, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes to eliminate possible stressors or symptom triggers and counselling.
Like ADHD, if bipolar disorder is not diagnosed accurately and treated accordingly, the danger of extremely violent behaviour and actions and even suicide is a high possibility.
If any symptoms is spotted or recognized, the next best thing to do is to consult a doctor. Proper tests and checking of medical history will help the doctor in correctly identifying the mental condition that is manifesting the observed symptoms.
About the Author : My name is Jennifer C. Carillo from New Jersey. I am 34 years old and a psychology teacher at the community college in New Jersey. I have 2 lovely daughters aged 5 and 2. I work as a freelance writer for bipolarsymptoms.org which gives me a different perspective about this mental condition.