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Tuesday, September 30, 2008 Hopeful mom, Community Member, asks

Q: Can ADD meds cause a mood disorder?

My son is diagnosed with a mood disorder with bipolar features. He was on stimulants from age 11-15 for ADD. I'm finding more and more parents of teens who were previously given stimulants and later developed a mood disorder. Have any studies been done regarding the long-term effects of stimulants and whether or not they cause a mood disorder?

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Answers (26)
John McManamy, Health Guide
9/30/08 11:14am

Hi, Hopeful Mom. The short answer: No. The drug companies have no financial stake in doing long term studies. 


With regard to whether ADD meds are harmful for bipolar kids: Perhaps, but we have no definitive evidence. This is in stark contrast to antidepressants, where we have strong research and clinical evidence that these meds can induce mania and cycling.


A lot depends on the individual's needs and biology and what is required of an ADD med. An ADD med essentially gets more dopamine in circulation, in a way that is more safe than street drugs. A lot of people with bipolar - especially those with low-energy depression and with sluggish thinking - can use a dopamine boost. So, for these individuals, an ADD med is an option (but only in consultation with a psychiatrist).


On the other hand, too much dopamine can cause psychosis. Antipsychotic meds are essentially dopamine-blockers. Also, a number of street drugs amount to a dopamine fix. An argument can be made that too much dopamine can also cause mania.


Now we get a further complication: Most kids with bipolar also have ADHD (and a smaller percent of ADHD kids also have bipolar). Also, a very high percentage of adults also have ADD. So, if a kid has ADHD symptoms, there is a good chance that he/she will sooner or later manifest bipolar symptoms, even without an ADD med. So it's almost impossible to say the ADD med caused the bipolar.


Further complicating matters is a turf war between the ADHD docs and the bipolar docs. The ADHD docs I've talked to think bipolar is way overdiagnosed in kids and that giving a kid an ADHD med is not all that dangerous. The bipolar docs I've talked to, on the other hand, say bipolar is underdiagnosed in kids, and that when in doubt first treat the kid for bipolar (with mood stabailizers), as ADD meds run the risk of further destabilizing an already unstable kid.


This is a long way of saying, we really don't know. But by all means there is reason to regard ADD meds with caution. Certainly, the onus should be on the psychiatrist to justify prescribing these (or any) meds. And parents should be giving psychiatrists the third degree. A less than satisfactory answer is cause to refuse the med or change psychiatrists.



gr8fl1, Community Member
9/30/08 10:30am

I don't know the answer to this, but my son is on the new med. Vyvanse for ADD. I was wondering this myself. How can a stimulant NOT affect their brain when used long term.?? I also tend to think that they are probably bi-polar and that it has been diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD because of their age. I know that, looking back, once I understood the disease it became clear to me how I suffered my whole life. Even when I was little. I feel that it is imperative that they do studies on this. But how can we get them (whoever them is) to do this? Great question hopeful mom. 

mom, Community Member
8/ 1/09 9:38am

Yes, my son was diagnosed with ADD when he was 6 and was taking meds for ADD. When he was 19 he was also diagnosed with mood disorder. He started having anxiety at 20 and became worse. He was on an antidepressant and then presribed Klonopin for the anxiety which must have made the depression worse.  He ended up killing himself at 21.  The medicine may have made him worse or he was bipolar but the doctor did not diagnose this. Something went wrong but I'll never know.


wife and mom, Community Member
11/13/09 9:42am

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this important information, because my husband was dianosed with bipolar 1 mixed and now we are trying to treat our 6 year old son because of the things he is doing in school and @ home.  Now we will be more careful about how he is treated with medication and have him diagnose very carefully, because I have heard bipolar runs in families.


once again thank you for the info and god bless you and your family

Molly, Community Member
11/21/11 4:39am

My daughter was diagnosed with ADD in 8th grade.  Within 1 1/2 years she had been on adderall for 4 mos, then on concerta for 6 mos and then on vyvanse for about 3 years, which was 1/2 way through her senior year of high school.  In December of her junior year she came to us and said she thought she was bipolar.  Without having talked about it, both my husband and I said we had wondered about it too.  After taking her to a psychiatrist, it was confirmed.  He continued with her on the vyvanse as well as meds for the bipolar.  Her manic symptoms were becoming VERY, VERY frequent   She became diagnosed as a rapid cycler.  The manic episodes sometimes occurred 3 times a day.  At any event, they occurred several times a week.  The psychiatric care seemed to be of no help.  We were beside ourselves and didn't know what to do.  After a year of being with this doctor, I switched doctors---and as we all know, that's a pretty scary thing to do.  This new doctor right away asked why she was on a stimulant, that ".... stimulants are know to bring out mania"!  He, with my permission, discontinued the vyvanse.  I was very apprehensive about stopping it.  The previous years had been so tumultuous that we just didn't know what to expect without this med.  Well, the vyvanse was discontinued in March and right now it is November----she has not had ONE SINGLE MANIC EPISODE since being taken off of her stimulant---not ONE!  I believe in my gut that she never had "true" bipolar, but did have stimulant induced bipolar.  Our problem now is that there is nothing she can take for her ADD.  So......after searching online, I found ADHD coaching for high school and college kids.....  I hope some of our trials and tribulations are helpful to those of you going through what we have.  God Bless you all ~

Optimistic Mom Coach, Community Member
10/ 2/08 7:46am

Thank you for asking this question!  I often wonder and would like the answer from someone who has done extensive studies. My daughter is 23 having been first considered bi-polar at the age of 17 when she experienced her first manic episode.  She was then diagnosed bi-polar when the symptoms persisted.


From my own perspective:  Looking back, I would have never given her the ADD stimulant drugs!  I would have instead insisted that the teachers work with her to help her overcome her learning disabilities.  She was always a well behaved child throughout her years in school but had difficulty concentrating and following instructions.  This drug induced state masked her real issues, challenges...she found her own ways to get by in school (often having the top students assisting her) until diagnosed at the age of 11 with ADHD. At that time she was prescribed adderall (spelling?).


In high school, she never used illegal drugs, struggled constantly in class to make grades having been coded with a math reasoning disability, couldn't memorize to pass a test (she often had open book tests especially in foreign language), ran track, played soccer and had close friends.  However, after completing two years of college she is still unable to hold a job for more than a couple months. 


Micaela readily suffers from anxiety and the related symptoms of bi-polar.  She is on Zyprexa and an anti-depressant.  She lives independently with the financial help of me.  Her manic episodes are typically triggered by stress of the work place and being told she needs to "go faster" and has made mistakes.  These are the exact same issues she has had since the age of five when in kindergarten.  They have followed her throughout life never being addressed for what they really were...a learning disability!


In our constant struggle to trouble-shoot Micaela's anxiety/episodes we always come up with the same conclusion - being on the stimulants never allowed for her to learn coping skills. Aren't these skills we should all learn to prepare us for life?  Ironically, my sister's son has a learning disability and was taken off the stimulants (at 11 or so) as he had a reaction to them (ticks?).  Therefore, he learned coping skills throughout his years in school.  He is now a productive, confident 23 year old working adult.


School isn't only about making it convenient for teachers to teach the basics but they should be willing/able to teach those that are learning challenged without the use of medication! I am now trying to teach her coping skills she never learned while being medicated on stimulants.  We discuss almost daily how to cope with the anxiety of her hidden (after all you can't see it!) disability and why employers aren't patient! 


In summary, I can see why so many children are quickly given stimulants for ADD.  It has become our culture not to look easy fix...quick, fast, a magic pill.  Well, it is now coming back as other issues! 


In summary, of course this is my own unique personal experience I feel compelled to share based on your question.  I hope someone, somewhere does a study now that we have a portion of the generation of adults that were medicated with stimulants as children. 

voodoo1217, Community Member
10/ 2/08 8:50am

I am a 46 year old withsevere ADHD and hypomanic mood disorder.ADHD meds do not cause mood disorders,but stimulant meds will intensify symptoms of a preexisting mood disorder,it sounds like your son simply has a comorbidity issue. 

luvmybabies, Community Member
10/ 2/08 9:09am

I am no doctor, but I have been on Adderall and I have had friends take Adderall, and all I can say is that I and my friends all went from very nice loving people, to being very moody and mean people.So it's my opinion that YES, ADD meds can cause mood disorders. Although I believe they are temporary mood disorders. Once I stopped taking Adderall and I changed my diet DRAMATICALLY, it took about 7 months for me to get back to "my old self" again.

Good luck!

beth, Community Member
10/ 2/08 9:21am

I work in a psychiatric hospital doing assessments and have 2 children with a.d.d..  I am not a nurse or doctor but have found in my experience that  doctors do not want to diagnose children or adolescents with bipolar so they give the diagnosis as a.d.h.d and the medication does not really help that much so that is one factor in diagnosing a someone as bipolar.  So really the bipolar issues are there before the stimulant drugs are prescribed but the diagnosis is just wrong at that time.  Stimulant drugs do not appear to cause mood disorders.  If he has a mood disorder with bipolar features i would start asking questions in the family there is probably someone else that has it as it is hereditary.  There has been many studies on the long term effects of stimulants .  Basically a stimulant is large doses of caffeine that exits the system every night.

IrisIvy, Community Member
10/ 2/08 10:08am

I wouldn't even wonder about this..  Its a given.   Any pharmaceutical drug is considered foreign to the human body. The liver must break it down.  Given all the toxins in our environment, mercury and lead at the top of the list (hidden in an enormous amount of everyday items we touch and ingest), this poor young man's body probably started out toxic, and hence the ADD.


I know.  I have heavy metal poisoning which caused ADD for me, and additional emotional distress, and concentration problems.  For each person the symptoms are different.  The cause of the symptoms is similar, however, ... the emotional and ADD are the symptoms of a liver that cannot process or detoxify the toxins, and even when it does, it puts these toxins back into the bloodstream to be absorbed into the brain and other organs, messing up the chemical balance of hormones, etc.


Rather than looking for a study, in which you may never find, because who is going to find the money to support making popular drugs look bad?    it may be wise to begin educating oneself on how to naturally detoxify the body.  There are many books and resources on this topic nowadays.


Green vegetable juicing to cleanse the cells, certain glutathione enhancing foods and supplements,  chlorella to attach to the toxins and draw them out of the body safely.   With the help of a doctor versed in environmental or integrative medicine, you will help your son get rid of what causes his problems, rather than masking with a drug to fix symptoms...  Good luck!!

10/ 2/08 12:30pm

Can ADD meds cause a mood disorder?

I'm no doctor but, this is my understanding...  The mood disorders and or mental illness require three factors... 1st- Predisposition 2nd - environment, 3rd Trigger.  The combination can result not in creating a disorder rather more like turning one on, if you will.

It has long theorized that some medications can trigger emotional and psychological disorders. Still the research also show that for many people the predisposition or  Biological Factors were already there. So, the introduction of a neurological chemical can uncover or awaken the dormant genome.

Lastly, it is my personal understanding and belief that many now diagnosed with ADD or ADHD will have there diagnosed changed Bipolar as they get older.  I think this will be due to 2 reasons, 1st - misdiagnosed, 2nd - that the meds triggered it.

still, more research is need, here is a link to Webmd:
It might help to answer it better.  I


Chato B.  Stewart
Mental Health Advocate - Cartoonist - and a few other  things!


Sandra, Community Member
10/ 2/08 12:45pm

My niece whom I have custody of has been diagnosed with full blown bipolar disorder among other disorders.  For a period of time, she was on medication for ADD in addition to her bipolar medication.  We (family, friends, school and doctor) noticed that while she was on the ADD meds she became very aggressive, moody (sad/angry) and even very very hyper. We took her off those meds during the summer and noticed her whole personality changed. She is happier, more calm, etc.  I hope this helps some.

jer193, Community Member
10/ 2/08 3:19pm

Yes. Taking speed or any stimulant is dangerous, and will eventually lead to a psychiatric disorder. I had a poster in the 60's that said 'Speed Kills' and it is still true today.

Judith A. Rubin, Community Member
10/ 2/08 3:41pm

I have not researched the existence of long term use of stimulants but my gut hunch about this is that these kids probably had both ADD and a mood disorder but only got diagnosed with the ADD at the time because mood disorders have been historically underdiagnosed in children.


My daughter, 38 was on stimulants for ADD for one year, age 12-13. She still suffered from ADD and does to this day but she had lots of support, educational structure, graduated from college, ran a successful business and today is a top realtor in a large company in the midwest. She also suffers from Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorder.


It is not uncommon for many of the problem to co-exist.

wendy, Community Member
10/ 2/08 4:09pm

I don't know if any studdies have been made but we just took our daughter off of all her meds and one month later she is fine. It was to the point she was violent and hitting,punching and swearing at me. this all stopped when we took her off the meds. the doctor would not review her meds and said it was typical behavior and incresed her meds and it made her even worse. check the meds. past and current and look at all the warnings. best of all remember you see your child every day and the doc only sees them for 15 min. 3 or 5 times a year. don't be afraid to get a second opinion even if the doc says you don't need one. you might be surprised at what you find out. 

bipolar1mixedepisode, Community Member
10/ 2/08 4:57pm

You should consider the possibility that the medications didn't cause the disorder, but possibly masked the symptoms. As I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a lifetime of being dx. with major depression, I have been reading everything I can get my hands on. I read that there seems to be some connection between ADD or ADHD and bipolar spectrum disorders. Notice I said a connection, not a cause. It seems that a lot of our children who are diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD actually have bipolar spectrum disorder and were misdiagnosed with the attention disorder in the first place. Of course, they can also co-occur, as can so many disorders. Also, many children who are initially dx. with attention disorders go on to later develop bipolar spectrum disorders. Scientists think that there may be a common gene responsible for both; some even think they should be listed as the same spectrum disorder. An excellent book I would highly recommend is Break the Bipolar Cycle: A Day-By-Day Guide to Living With Bipolar Disorder, by Elizabeth Brondolo, Ph.D., and Xavier Amador, Ph.D. I bought it last week at conference in the Catskills (NYS). (I've since found it online at for $8-10.00 -- substantially less than the $16.00 I paid). I've already finished reading it--it's a very easy and quick read. The best part about this book is that it gives "real life situation and symptoms." Previously, any resource I could find basically regurgitated the DSM IV-TR symptoms for Depression and Mania (mine is mixed). This book put those symptoms in terms that you can recognize in your own life or that of a loved one. I wasn't at all convinced that the diagnosis was correct, but now after reading this book, I can easily see why my psychiatrist diagnosed me with this disorder. I don't know if there have been any clinical studies or not. I would suggest checking out the National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM) website, SAHMSA website, NAMI, and others to see if they have any studies going on or if they know of any.


My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was four years old. It was impossible to live with him and he has been on various meds over the years. He is nearly 18 now and frankly, all of the meds and counseling (as well as repeated hospitalizations) haven't made that much difference in the outcome of his illness. A year or so ago, I discovered that his psychiatrist thought he might possibly have bipolar disorder. He put him on Prozac--WITHOUT A MOOD STABILIZER!!! Needless to say, my son experienced a severe manic episode. Did his psychiatrist take this as an indication that he really might have bipolar disorder?  Apparently not. My husband took our son off of the Prozac when he couldn't reach the doctor for advice, and our son calmed right down. So I am also left with the question as to whether my son might be bipolar. Has he been incorrectly treated all of these years? Who can tell? But it's something to think about.


Good luck with your son!

rskeyser, Community Member
10/ 2/08 6:56pm

I believe it is possible that a psychostimulant can cause a mood disorder, but I don't think that happens very often. What I see most often is someone taking psychostimulants starts exhibiting symptoms of mania, generally more dysphoric. I believe that individual is Bipolar and the psychostimulant ends up confirming the diagnosis.


In 25 years of practice, many parents (usually mothers) bring a child or adolescent in and want something for ADHD. The reason they know their child has ADHD is because the other parent (usually the father) has it and the symptoms are the same or similar.


Consider two things. Kiki Chang, MD, the Director of the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Program at Stanford says that of all the children and adolescents that are Bipolar, 70%-90% have ADHD. The second thing is that unless the provider gets detailed family history and information about the child, it is difficult to distinguish between the two disorders. I believe some providers cave in to the parents' desire for their child to have ADHD rather than Bipolar disorder. If a child or adolescent had both, the Bipolar disorder should be treated first, even if it is prophylactically. Psychostimulants and Strattera can induce hypomania and mania and generally more dysphoric than euphoric. I suppose a person could become depressed at the end of the elevated cycle, but most often it comes to my attention when the mood is more agitated and there is significant restlessness and acting out behavior.


Dr. Chang suggested that the nature and quality of temper tantrums can be diagnostic. A child with ADHD will have a tantrum and it is over in 20-30 minutes, likely because they have forgotten what they were upset about. A child with Bipolar disorder will go in their room and rage on for an hour and frequently longer. They may destroy things, threaten the person who sent them to their room, threaten to harm themselves, and become very intimidating. They can carry a grudge.


Most often the key to the right diagnosis is a very thorough family history. If there is mood disorder in the family the child most likely has one. Does that mean they don't have ADHD? Not at all. What it means is that everyone is in for a rough ride if the Bipolar disorder is not treated first.


I hope that sheds a little light on your question.


Rick Keyser, ARNP

Donna, Community Member
10/ 3/08 10:14am

My daughter, currently 16, was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I after being depressed for 10 months, not responding well to antidepressants,  with increasing doses of Adderal XR to treat her ADD for 1 yr. to help her to be able to focus in middle school.  Our doctors told us that since there was a family history of Bipolar in our family, and also evidence that stimulants can bring on Bipolar, we were hit with 18 days of non-stop mania, but also now we had a definitive diagnosis for her.  I have not read a particular study on this.  Just going by what the doctor said.

C, Community Member
10/ 3/08 7:17pm

The teens whom "developed" a mood disorder probably had it all along, A lot of times, a bipolar disorder can be MISdiagnosed as ADD or happens often.

anonymous1, Community Member
10/ 3/08 11:37pm

Yes! My name is Paula Anne, and I myself was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I since November 1996. Well, this past year for several months, my pdoc. put me on Adderall usually used for ADHD. I was doing fine for a while until I was unable to go to sleep, started having crying spells, and having other mood disorders and episodes like cursing and getting cranky, irritable, and getting upset over petty stuff. The Adderall caused me to become so ill, I was unable to practice on the piano or do other interesting things such as photography, even help my daughter practice on the piano, or clean up. I used to stay in the bed all day ,not do a thing. The Adderall made me so sick, I became extremely lazy! So yes some stimulants used for ADD does have side effects depending on the individual. And I am currently doing a research mainly on Bipolar Disorder, but I am also writing a comparison and contrasting on Bipolar Disorder versus ADHD/ADD. Another thing, on August 16, 2008 (which was my uncle Joseph's funeral in Covington [GA]), after taking the Adderall again because I thought I left my Zoloft which I finally overlooked, my condition became WORSE!! I started shying away from everybody (technically isolating myself), I could not breathe (it was like having asthma), I started having hot flashes, I became very nervous and shaky at the waiting line (I almost started to ask the morticians if I could go ahead and sit down because of my medical condition, but I decided to try to control my emotions), and what made everything worse, I ATE NOTHING AND COULD NOT EAT ANYTHING, PERIOD!! I barely drank water. After the funeral, I did not bother going to the burial site nor the repast until the very last minute. Therefore, I stayed in the car. In fact, I wanted to go back home to either College Park, GA or back to my mom's house (Augusta, GA-my husband, daughter, and I had to pick my parents up that same Saturday to attend my uncle's funeral). The only experience I have had with the long-term effects of stimulants such as Adderall is weight loss, decrease of appetite, loss of having intercourse with your spouse, insomnia, and others. Well, I hope this information will help you because I can definitely related to stimulants that will cause you to have episodes and mood disorders. Now, I am doing much better by taking Lorazepam (Atavan-anxiety), Alprazolam (Xanax-also for anxiety I love it a lot, but it makes my mouth so bitter that I either have to brush my teeth after lunch and/or eat a piece of peppermint), Flurazepam (Dalmane), and Perphenazine (but I rarely take it because I do NOT want to gain anymore weight)!! These meds help me to have less of a mood disorder, become more active, and have less episodes. Sometimes when either a mood disorder or an episode try to come back, I go to the Man Upstairs and pray! And He heals me automatically! Although I am still studying on the long-term effects of stimulants myself, my advice to you is to go back to your son's doctor and have the meds changed or you could try some of the meds I currently take. They may or may not help your child, but I am happy because they work for me at the most. And before I get upset or have a mood disorder, I learned how to practice catching myself. That way, the enemy won't come back and hurt your son (that's if you are a firm believer in the Man Upstairs)!!

sunshine and Rain, Community Member
5/18/09 3:57pm

Hi, I am new to this post and after reading your experience I wanted to relate my own exprerience with adderall. I had always suffered with a mood disorder but had not been formally diagnosed with bipolar. However I was diagnosed with ADD and deppression. While on Adderall at first it was fantastic. I could concentrate and "be in the momement." I was also in a great mood, had lots and lots of energy and lost 20 lbs with 0 effort which brought me to a size 6. I no longer felt as depressed either and my husband stated that he saw a night and day difference in me. Then, All Hell broke loose.  It started with insomnia and wild mood swings from mellow to downright hateful. EVERYBODY got on my nerves, and I felt persecuted by EVERYONE. My husband described me as "edgy" all the time and I went from feeling high to what I called crashing. I wanted to sleep all day and could not move off the couch, sometimes I felt like I was running a low grade fever and my kidneys hurt. I went to the family doctor and he found no signs of a kidney infection. Also my pulse would go up and if I drank coffee I would get chest pains, trouble breathing, heart paplitations, suffocated feelings, and trembling plus extreme naseau. Then I nixed all caffeine and still felt symptoms. I went to ER, and Cardiologists, and had Two ABNORMAL EKGS. Although they found nothing wrong with my heart and said I actually blew the stress test out of the water! They "stated that the abnormal readings of the ekgs might be My Normal." in explanation, since I scored so well on everything else, and prescribed me anti anxiety meds. O.K. by this time I WAS DONE. I no longer trusted doctors and meds and have not nor will I tak Any meds. It has been a year come August of 2009 of going to doctors and having multiple testing of all kinds done to find out if there is something physically wrong with me because  I feel sick. Mentally I continue to have bipolar types of depression and anxiety? and add but all that is better to me then experiencing what happened to me on adderall. I pray to God and trust that he will guide me through this time and help me find an answer to this craziness. My faith has helped me get through all this but  I ask people to pray for me and I know that it helps even on the darkest days. I am 35 and feel like there has to be more to life than popping pills and waiting to see what happens.

alison589, Community Member
10/ 5/08 4:57pm

It's my understanding that stimulants do not cause a mood disorder, but they can exacerbate or bring out an underlying mood disorder. The stimulants can bring about mania in a bipolar person, for example.


Bipolar patients are advised NOT to take a stimulant until their mood is stablized.

Greta, Community Member
10/ 6/08 9:49am



I have not found anything about ADD medication and mood disorder, but common signs of abuse in childhood is the same as in mood disorder.  Our ADD/ADHD children have had negative experience from early childhood.  Schools has often given them extremely negative experience ss "your are not good enough", "you are bad", "you are not able to finish your work", you are not abel to control your behaviour", and so much more.  e as parents have done the same, "do not behave like that", "I dislike you" and more ....

The good news is we can build up our childs inner strength and I recommend website or The Nurturing Heart Approach can do miracle for our child.

penguin5711, Community Member
2/ 4/09 3:38pm

all that i know is my psychiatrist said if you are bipolar do not take add medication over your usual dosage. This may bause hallunciatons

lost, Community Member
4/ 4/09 8:09am

Im not sure but I figured I'd share whats happining to me. last year I was taking ritalin to stay up because I work night shift. one night at work I had a really bad panic attack. now mind you I've never been add or adhd, but after the panic attack I went down hill and the doctors diagnoised me with bieng bipolar type 2. mentally I've never had any problems until I started taking the ritalin. Im now trying to figure out why I cant concintrate, things that used to come easy to me dosen't anymore. I get very frustrated. I also forget things,inportant things that 30yr old woman dont forget. what happend to me???

susanmapes1974, Community Member
5/31/09 3:58am

I am a woman who has lived with bi-polar for 18 years plus my children have ADHD and bi-polar.  I have never heard of a stimulant CAUSING a person to become bi-polar.  However, if the person is not actually ADD, then the side effects of the meds can resemble a manic episode.  Or if a person is bi-polar or borderline, then giving them a stimulant can cause a manic episode.  I personally think that the stimulant would only affect and make worse a mood disorder that was already there.

Mattie, Community Member
11/10/10 3:11pm

My son got addicted to Adderall which was prescribed for ADHD and has been battling it for serveral years. He is doing much better now. He has been on a product called Second Chance Nutrition and it has really helped him.

Hopeful mom, Community Member
11/10/10 7:37pm

I think my son may still have ADHD in addition to the mood disorder but he became very angry while on the ADHD meds so we just had to give up on treating that.  For three years, he's been on a mood stabilizer plus an antianxiety/anti depression drug.  He functions well on this combination.  He even completed his senior year with a B average.  He graduated, which I never thought would happen, and he's actually quite proud of himself for this accomplishment.

Seriously, I think doctors need to look much more closely at family history and a full range of symptoms before just writing a prescription.  We almost lost our boy because he was on a harmful drug for him.

Anon., Community Member
12/10/10 1:30pm

     I am diagnosed with comorbid (coexisting) ADHD and either bipolar disorder or cyclothymia (a milder version of similar symptoms; the line between them is blurred.). Only within the last year have I been medicated at all, originally for a depression which was mostly unipolar with very rare hypomanic episodes. A string of medications for ADHD, combined first with Lexapro and then with Abilify, failed to help me and induced very high hypomania bordering on mania, as well as severe depression.

     Recently it became clear that the Abilify, indicated to be used for bipolar disorder, was in fact making it easier for my mood to become elevated. Now it is clear that I suffer from ultradian, or extremely fast, cycling, which can essentially be altered just by stimuli in my surroundings, and the only medication that works daily to stabilize me is Vyvanse, a stimulant for ADHD. My old psychiatrist explained to me that in Europe there are studies being done which specifically use amphetamines to calm people in the midst of manic episodes, because the correct doses can have a calming effect. In addition, there are some studies which suggest that long-term medication with stimulants have beneficial effects in the section of the brain dealing with attention and planning, which are those which are often affected by bipolar disorder.

     In short, everyone's chemistry is different. I can only keep my moods under control when on the Vyvanse, but ironically doses much lower than my usual one can induce mania rather than prevent me from becoming manic, which is the effect of high doses.

bronxmom, Community Member
8/13/11 8:34am

I realize that this is an old post, but the answer is YES!  Please, people, read Robert Whitaker's "Anatomy of an Epidemic", especially chapter 11 - "the Epidemic Spreads to Children".  There is a very clear and direct correlation between prescribing SSRI's and ADHD stimulants to children leading to a bipolar diagnosis, which then leads to a lifetime of meds and disability.  It is tragic and criminal.  Bipolar disorder used to be almost unheard of in children.  Yes, certain groups (supported by pharmaceutical companies) will tell you that it used to be underdiagnosed and undertreated, but look at the outcomes!  Putting children on heavy duty medication, brain changing medication, has horrendous outcomes.

Hopeful mom, Community Member
8/13/11 2:10pm

In my son's case, I'm almost positive that he was just misdiagnosed as a child.  As we've gone through the treatment and in my reading and looking at our family history, he came by it from both my husband's and my families.  My son is lucky in the fact that he was diagnosed before it could cause major problems.  My great uncle burned down a house and put a cafe owner in the hospital while in a manic state.  My son's never gets that bad because he had early treatment and takes a mood stabilizer.  If you read "The Bipolar Child", they suggest that ADHD meds cause the disorder to present itself at an earlier age.  I'm not sure why that is.  Because he took multiple stimulants, he was diagnosed at 15 rather than in his 20s or 30s when most people are diagnosed.


bronxmom, Community Member
8/13/11 2:44pm

Well, I'm glad that your son is doing much better.  I wish you and him all the best!  I'm glad you found a professional who works with you and your family better.  A lot of doctors don't bother to do the work.

Robert E. Walton, Community Member
10/24/11 6:00pm

Following years and years of research. I have found that big Pharm likes to sell drugs instead of getting at the cause.


It generally from our toxic enviroment and the adjuvents we injeat into our kids with to many vaccines at once and Mercury Amalgam fillings.


All cause the liver to back up and poisen our bodies and the bodies of our children, including causing the huge increase in cancer, diabetis, etc. We are what we eat and what we drink and inject into ourselves. Its that simple. It all causes low glutathione levels and our bodies cannot detox properly or at all. A slow death for sure and a struggling life.


1) Get your blood tested for heavy metals!

2) Build up glutathione levels

3) Eat healthy with organic foods as much as possible, NO GMO's

4) Play, dance run, get excercise and lots of sun. Quit putting on sunscreens and underarm deoderant that has Aluminum in it. Causes breast cancer! Our skin is our third lung, don't bath it in toxins!

5) Have a positive attitude-today could be the last of your life.


My entire family and most relatives now follow the above philosophy and we are CURED of diabetis, cancer, ADHD, etc. The human body is a wonderous shell created by god / source. Put into it only what he / she created for it and it has a woderouse ability to heal itself with natural products and foods. A cut will heal, its what the body does when its given the proper natural fuel! 



STUDY glutathione. Every cell makes it especially the liver so it can clean our blood of the junk we put into it. So simple now that the knowledge is out there!!


My entire

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By Hopeful mom, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/05/14, First Published: 09/30/08