ADHD and Comorbid Bipolar Disorder

ADHD and Comorbid Bipolar Disorder


Q: Which Symptoms are More Prominent in Bipolar Disorder-I, Compared with those with only ADHD?

  • Elevated Mood
  • Grandiosity
  • Flight of Ideas
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Hypersexuality

Q: Presence of Which Symptoms Do Not Differentiate Between Bipolar Disorder and ADHD? 

  • Irritability
  • Accelerated speech
  • Distractibility

Q: How to Manage Patients with Both ADHD and Comorbid Bipolar Disorder?

  • Treat bipolar symptoms first, if ADHD symptoms persist, titrate medications carefully
  • It may be safe to use stimulants if bipolar symptoms responded well to a mood-stabilizing agent
  • Some evidence suggests that atomoxetine can be used safely and effectively in combination with mood stabilizers
  • Stimulant use requires ongoing monitoring as it may destabilize the mood disorder
  • Positive or negative response to a trial with a stimulant medication should not be used as a diagnostic tool in the process of differential diagnosis.


  • Psychiatric Annals Vol 44 NO 9 2014
  • J Affect Disord. 1998;51 (2):81-91


Please do post your questions or comments below. 

Dr. Harvinder Singh, M.D. (Admin)

Enroll in our online course to have access to all important clinically relevant psychiatry topics in one place.

Related Articles