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Are children with bipolar disorder ever misdiagnosed with ADHD?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an increasingly common diagnosis for children, teens, and adults. Some children with bipolar disorder are often misdiagnosed with ADHD. If children with bipolar disorder have co-occurring ADHD, they may have even more problems with behavior, attention, and discipline. Paying attention at school can be a problem, as well as controlling hyperactivity. Some findings reveal that ADHD is more typical in people who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder in childhood when compared to people whose symptoms of bipolar disorder started in adulthood.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.