How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
74815544
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Z is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a 26 yr old female. I was diagnosed with bi-polar about

This answer was rated:

I am a 26 yr old female. I was diagnosed with bi-polar about 5 yrs ago. I was put on medication and it seemed to help with some of my problems. I was also talking to a therapist at the time and she thought my problem was that I was adhd. I did get into drugs around the age of 16 and I got clean when I was 21. my doctor says that is the reason I am bi-polar. I have currently stopped taking my medication and I do seem to be ok but I still have some of the same problems. I had these problems the whole time I was on my medication. I'm afraid it is going to effect my job and my schooling. I get easily irritated at work, i don't take the time to do my work right, i cant concentrate, i make careless mistakes, which my bosses are catching on to and i don't know what to do. is it possible i have adhd or may i really be bi polar?

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I can understand your concern and the manic periods associated with Bipolar Disorder and ADHD can be misdiagnosed, so I would like to ask you a few questions so I can better assist you with this

Customer:

ok thank you

Dr. Z :

The symptoms that you have of getting irritated, lack of concentration, careless mistakes, etc...do these happen in periods/cycles or are they there all the time throughout the day?

Customer:

its mostly while i'm at work or trying to do my school work.

Dr. Z :

Okay and do you have any periods of elevated mood or grandiosity when you are feeling this way?

Customer:

what do you mean?

Dr. Z :

Well while you have difficulties with inattention, difficulty concentrating, making careless mistakes, and getting easily irritated do you ever have additional symptoms of elevated mood or grandiosity?

Customer:

i just get easily irritated, and i get mad to the point where i just don't want to do it anymore, and i just feel like i want to give up.

Dr. Z :

Okay, so most individuals with true Bipolar Disorder have cycles of this behavior that you described with the additional symptoms of Elevated mood or Grandiosity and usually these cycles last for 4-30 days, and then you would cycle into a depressive period. But for you it sounds like these symptoms that you described happen constantly throughout the day and for long periods of times, and get worse when you are stressed. So the ADHD diagnosis is a strong possibility and also some serious Anxiety disorders can cause this as well when responding to stressful situations

Dr. Z :

So it is possible that you were misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder because of the symptoms and the history of drug use, which can create symptoms that resemble Bipolar Disorder.

Customer:

what should i do because the dr i was seeing is stuck on the fact that i am bi polar and she says that adhd is not common in women. i know that the way i used to act while i was on drugs would seem as if i was bi polar, i mean i would get very angry. i would throw things, i would go into a very depressed state, and i would sleep all the time if i wasn't using. since i have been clean i don't have those problems anymore.

Dr. Z :

Well while your doctor is correct that ADHD is typically more diagnosed in males, but that is because males predominately present with the hyperactivity features and women predominately present with the inattentive features, so the belief is that ADHD in females are underdiagnosed and in males it is possibly overdiagnosed. I think it would be beneficial getting a psychological assessment from a psychologist that specializes in Testing and Evaluation. These psychologists are trained to give different psychological measures to make an accurate diagnosis beyond just symptoms and signs.

Dr. Z :

Here is a good article discussing some of the gender differences with ADHD

Dr. Z :

Also females with ADHD typically have issues with anxiety and substance abuse so that fits you as well

Customer:

i do have anxiety. i was on medications for that as well. but i thank you, XXXXX XXXXX will try to find a dr. to speak with and see what i can do about it.

Dr. Z :

I think that is good to get a fresh pair of eyes to make a more accurate diagnosis for you as I believe that an ADHD is more likely based on the symptoms you just described

Dr. Z :

Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Customer:

i think that is all i have for now, but thank you so much for answering my questions.

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. I wish you the very best with your future treatment and I hope your symptoms lessen soon. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

ok ill make sure to contact you if i have any more questions.

Dr. Z :

You are more than welcome to contact me at anytime in the future

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you