Society has become more aware of mental health issues, their research, and required support. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common conditions among children and adolescents (Edinoff et al., 2021). Recently, its connection with bipolar disorder (BD), in particular their comorbidity, has attracted the significant attention of researchers (Brancati et al., 2021). Despite the progress of the medical sciences in the study of mental disorders, the reasons for this connection are still not clear enough.
The association between ADHD and BD manifests in symptoms’ similarity and frequent comorbidity. For example, inattention, impulsivity, concentration difficulties, and other symptoms characteristic of ADHD also appear in the manic stages of BD (Edinoff et al., 2021). Moreover, a study by Brancati et al. (2021) revealed that 10% of children and adolescents with ADHD develop BD. The likelihood of its manifestation is much higher than in people without ADHD. Therefore, ADHD is an influential predictor of BD appearance in the future. Genetic factors are possible reasons for this association, but further studies are needed to establish the prerequisites accurately (Edinoff et al., 2021). Recognition of signs of these disorders, including ADHD leading to BD, has clinical significance.
Relationships between the considered disorders may have implications for treatment. In particular, another assumption about their association states that some methods of managing and treating ADHD can increase the likelihood of BD (Edinoff et al., 2021). Currently, the best treatment of both these disorders in adolescents requires pharmacological intervention – mood stabilizers for BD and non-stimulants, psychostimulants, or antidepressants for ADHD (Bhandari, 2020). A specialist may also advise behavioral therapy for ADHD clients (Bhandari, 2020). Thus, it is crucial to be aware of the association between disorders, as symptoms of ADHD and BD can overlap, and diseases often manifest together, which affects their treatment.
Bhandari, S. (2020). Bipolar disorder or ADHD? WebMD. Web.
Brancati, G. E., Perugi, G., Milone, A., Masi, G., & Sesso, G. (2021). Development of bipolar disorder in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Journal of Affective Disorders, 293, 186-196. Web.
Edinoff, A. N., Apgar, T. L., Rogers, J. J., Harper, J. D., Cornett, E. M., Kaye, A. M., & Kaye, A. D. (2021). Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and bipolar disorder: Diagnosis, treatments, and clinical considerations: A narrative review. Psychiatry International, 3(1), 17-28. Web.