It is no secret that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been linked to other clinical disorders such as OCD, depression, and anxiety. ADHD has also been associated with substance abuse such as alcoholism, tobacco addiction, and drug use that can all unfold into other physical, mental, and emotional issues. It is frequently discussed what subcategories are associated with ADHD; however, a more unspoken aspect is its effect on major behavioral disorders, such as Bipolar disorder.
The Department of Clinical Neuroscience from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden performed a study to further examine if there was a connection between children or adults with a history of ADHD as well as Bipolar disorder ( Rydén, E., Thase, M., Stråht, D., Aberg-Wistedt, A., Bejerot, S., & Landén, M, 2009).
The department evaluated 159 individuals with Bipolar disorder. Independent psychiatrists performed an assessment on the patients to determine if there was a history of childhood ADHD or current ADHD in adulthood; there was also an interview with a parent ( Rydén, E., Thase, M., Stråht, D., Aberg-Wistedt, A., Bejerot, S., & Landén, M, 2009).
Of the 159 patients with diagnosed Bipolar disorder, 16% showed a history for childhood ADHD and an additional 12% exhibited adult ADHD. According to the May 2009 study, “Both these groups had significantly earlier onset of their first affective episode, more frequent affective episodes (except manic episodes), and more interpersonal violence than the bipolar patients without a history of ADHD. The fact that bipolar patients with a history of childhood ADHD have a different clinical outcome than the pure bipolar group, regardless of whether the ADHD symptoms remained in adulthood or not, suggests that it represent a distinct early-onset phenotype of bipolar disorder.”
If you enjoyed this article and would like to receive email alerts when new articles are available simply click the “Subscribe” button at the top of this page and follow the instructions to activate your subscription.
Rydén, E., Thase, M., Stråht, D., Aberg-Wistedt, A., Bejerot, S., & Landén, M. (2009). A history of childhood attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) impacts clinical outcome in adult bipolar patients regardless of current ADHD. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 120(3), 239-246.