treating adults

How to Distinguish ADHD’s Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) from Bipolar Disorder

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Q: “How can diagnosing clinicians differentiate between rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) – the emotional highs and lows associated with ADHD – and the similar ups and downs of bipolar disorder?”A: Bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) share 14 features in common, so even a well-trained clinician could easily misdiagnose ADHD as bipolar, vice versa, or miss that both disorders are present.

Two studies, the STAR*D program and the STEP-BD program, both found a tremendous overlap between the disorders; if you have bipolar disorder, you have a 40% chance of having ADHD as well.

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