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Getting A Proper ADHD Or Bipolar Diagnosis For Children Can Be Challenging

Author : Stephen Daniels

Whether childhood behavioral and mental health issues are on the rise or simply more often recognized than ever before, the fact is that more cases of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and Bipolar disorder are diagnosed today than in years past. Although ADHD treatment and Bipolar disorder treatments are both readily available, the two conditions are sometimes difficult to differentiate, especially in children, and are therefore misdiagnosed too often.

Briefly, the main difference between the two is the length of time an episode lasts. In other words, a youngster with ADHD may display feelings of sadness, but he is also easily distracted and the blue mood may pass quickly. A Bi-Polar child, on the other hand, may be depressed without apparent cause for weeks at a time, appearing inconsolable under any circumstances. The other side of this coin is the swing to manic activity and high energy, symptoms which are often shared by the ADHD child. Again, the difference is in the length of time the mood endures.

The problem for medical practitioners is that even close observation cannot prove a diagnosis with any certainty. Both conditions share many similar symptoms such as inappropriate behavior, inability to complete tasks, temper tantrums and hyper or manic activity. Both ADHD and Bi-Polar disorders cause major problems for children, in all aspects of their lives. Whether interacting with family or friends, at school or on the playground, doing chores or homework, these youngsters are in trouble and need help.

Aside from watching their behavior, distinguishing between the two disorders is sometimes done by observing the results of various treatments. For example, a few weeks on an antidepressant will generally result in a return of energy and attention in a depressed Bi-Polar child; during a manic phase, a patient can be given one of several anti-psychotics to balance energy levels. On the other hand, prescribing a stimulant as an ADHD treatment will work quickly, effectively bringing the affected child's energy and attention back to acceptable levels in short order. Regardless of the results, a truly accurate diagnosis can only be given by a psychiatrist who works with childhood and adolescent mental disorders. Hormones and growth patterns have a direct effect on mood and behavior, often causing an incorrect identification of the problems and further exacerbation by improper treatment or medication.

It has recently been determined that the only way to be certain whether your child is suffering with ADHD or Bi-Polar disorder is through the use of a brain scan, because the problem originates in some portion of the brain. This scan must be administered and the results interpreted by a trained technician or physician. A parent who is struggling with a problem child should not hesitate to seek the help of a psychiatric specialist in ADHD and Bi-Polar disorder and request such a scan.

Author's Resource Box

If you or someone you know is seeking a NYC psychiatrist, internet marketing strategist Stephen Daniels highly recommends experienced psychiatrist Vatsal Thakkar, M.D., of Solstice Psychiatric Consulting. His expertise includes ADHD, Bi-Polar disorder and other mood and anxiety problems.

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Tags:   ADHD New York, NYC psychiatrist, NYC ADHD treatment

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Submitted : 2010-12-22    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 124