Differences Bipolar ADHD 1. Sleep cycling 1. Hypersomnia not likely 2. Onset adolescence/young adulthood 2. Childhood hyperactivity 3. Cycles of days, weeks, months  3. Very rapid mood changes, instability 4. Not associated with learning disabilities 4. Associated with dyslexia, other learning disabilities 5. Not associated with neurologic signs 5. Soft neurologic signs 6. Sustained drive, activity, can be productive 6. Does not sustain drive long enough to be productive 7. May have low energy periods  7. Generally 'hyper' 8. Gets more irritable with stimulants 8. Calms with stimulants 9. Tends to destabilize with antidepressants 9. May stabilize with antidepressants 10. Calms with tranquilizers 10. May get more irritable with tranquilizers Similarities Bipolar ADHD 1. Rapid mood cycles 1. Rapid mood cycles 2. Impulsiveness 2. Impulsiveness 3. Drug/alcohol abuse 3. Drug/alcohol abuse 4. Attention deficits 4. Attention deficits 5. Motor hyperactivity 5. Motor hyperactivity 6. Difficulty completing tasks 6. Difficulty completing tasks 7. Marital instability 7. Marital instability 8. Hot tempered 8. Hot tempered 9. Vocational instability 9. Vocational Instability 10. Hyperverbal 10. Hyperverbal

Reprinted with permission from 'Why Your Depression Isn't Getting Better: The Epidemic of Undiagnosed Bipolar Disorders' by Michael R. Bartos, MD., ISBN 0-595-12209-4, Published September 2000, iUniverse.com