Thursday, May 23, 2024

Am I Bipolar Or Autistic

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You Have Another Illness Such As Psychosis Anxiety Adhd Or A Drug Or Alcohol Addiction

What is High Functioning Autism? | Kati Morton

Some bipolar disorder symptoms are a lot like other conditions. They can be hard to separate and diagnose.

For example, mania can feature psychotic symptoms. You might think youâre famous or have superpowers. On the flip side, with manic depression, you might think youâve ruined your life in some dramatic way.

People with bipolar disorder also can have:

Managing Bipolar Disorder & Autism In Adults

In autistic adolescents and adults, bipolar disorder can lead to extreme behaviors that can put the safety of the individual and those around them at risk. It can also cause further social isolation, withdrawal, and difficulties maintaining friendships. Comorbid bipolar disorder and autism can greatly interfere with a persons ability to perform daily tasks and therefore function within society.

Education, medication, therapies, and support groups can help. Awareness is key for managing symptoms of both disorders. When a person is more able to understand why they might be feeling the way they do and are reacting in kind, they are also more apt to be able to regulate themselves and control these behaviors.

Support and social skills groups can provide healthy social outlets. They can teach methods for managing daily life, creating positive habits, and learning and practicing coping mechanisms.

Emotional Processing Is Lacking

Commonly, autistic people have issues with identifying how they feel and may have difficulty understanding others’ feelings because of this . This issue with identifying your own feelings is called alexithymia and may look like this:

  • You may recognize an event makes you feel “funny” or “off,” and have a general sense that something has changed within you but not be able to put an emotional label to it or specifically pinpoint how you’re feeling. This lack of awareness can be improved by continuing to try to label your feelings and ask yourself how you’re doing throughout the day.
  • You may notice when you get a knot in your stomach or a migraine, but not realize it is being caused by an emotion or emotional event. This can also be related to interoception, which is the ability to sense your internal physical processes .
  • You might find it difficult to read emotions on people’s faces, or in their body language. Others may notice an emotion on your face when you weren’t aware of it.
  • It takes you awhile to process events. If you get into an argument with someone you care about, it might take a day, a week, or even longer for you to know what to think about it.
  • You may have vivid dreams or nightmares that you awake from feeling very strong emotions due to lack of emotional processing when awake.

Do you have a lot of questions about the world, yourself, and other people?

Andrea Piacquadio – Pexels

Read Also: Can A Brain Scan Diagnose Autism

Selected Correlation Measures In The An+ Group

provides a pictorial synthesis of the correlation between BMI and YMRS total scores in the AN+ and AN- groups.

Figure 1

Essential correlation metrics in the AN+ and AN- groups are reported in .

Table 2

YMRS items 2 and 5 correlated significantly with AN+: rs = 0.452 and rs = 0.406 , respectively. YMRS item 5 also correlated with AQ-test total score in AN: rs = 0.353 . The strongest and most significant correlation in the AQ-test subset was found between AQ-test attention switching and EDE-Q shape, in the AN+ group only .

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Is There A Connection Between Autism And Bipolar Disorder


Some symptoms of bipolar disorder overlap with ASD but are there a real connection between the two? Research indicates that these two brain conditions . But the presence of both the conditions together is not prevalent. According to one study, a significant minority of ASD patients also suffer from bipolar affective disorder.

So, co-existence of the two conditions is possible but it doesnt indicate that a person with ASD will also have bipolar disorder or vice versa. The similarity between the symptoms of the two conditions might make it difficult to diagnose and differentiate one from the other particularly if BD is apparent from childhood.

Generally, red flags for autism are evident in the child before the appearance of bipolar disorder. In the case of pediatric bipolar disorder, the symptoms may become evident as early as 5 years of age of the child.

That said, one study found, as much as 30% of youth with bipolar disorder also had ASD. Interestingly, BD appeared earlier in presence of ASD comorbidity.

One gene sequencing study of bipolar disorder identified significant associations between the genes of autism and bipolar disorder indicating a genetic overlap which might also support the overlapping of the symptoms of the two conditions. Autism shares brain signature with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The latest findings on the co-occurrence of the two conditions are disparate and demand more research to arrive at any conclusion.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Autistic Child To Sleep In Own Bed

Myth: People With Autism Are Intellectually Challenged

Truth: Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental, not an intellectual, disorder. This means that people who have autism generally have a normal IQ and can excel in many pursuits. In fact, 44 percent of children identified with autism spectrum disorder have average or above-average intellectual ability.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Many children have trouble with thinking before they act, sitting still and focusing. But in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , these behaviours can be extreme and have a big effect on their daily lives. The behaviours usually happen together, although some children can be mainly inattentive.

How common is ADHD in autistic children? Autism and ADHD share some common characteristics like not seeming to listen when people speak, interrupting, or intruding on other peoples personal space. Many autistic children have behaviour thats very similar to ADHD.

How is ADHD treated? Theres no cure, but children and teenagers can learn to manage ADHD using behaviour strategies, taking medication, or a combination of the two.

Find out more

Recommended Reading: What Does Low Functioning Autism Look Like

Are There Differences In The Way Mood Disorders Present In Autistic Children And Adolescents

ASD impacts on how mood disorders present which can make the diagnosis more challenging. One of the difficulties is the common assumption that ASD is the cause of symptoms, a phenomenon known as diagnostic overshadowing. Knowledge of each individuals euthymic profile and baseline functional ability are essential to allow clinicians to notice changes necessary to diagnose mood disorders. For example, social isolation can be a feature at baseline in ASD but if it is increased or a new feature, depression should be considered. Furthermore, ASD may impact an individuals ability to describe emotions such as irritability, elation, guilt or worthlessness.,,

Behavioural changes associated with depression in ASD include a rise in aggressive and self-injurious behaviours and the emergence of gloomy content in art and writing. Increased agitation and loss of temper have also been identified, as well as classical depression symptoms such as changes in sleep, appetite, and concentration.

Behavioural changes associated with mania in autistic children and adolescents can include irritability, increase in goal-directed behaviour, distractibility, increased risk-taking, psychomotor agitation, decreased need for sleep, increased stereotypic behaviour and increased obsession.¹

Types Causes And Symptoms Of Mental Illness

An Interview with a Sociopath (Antisocial Personality Disorder and Bipolar)

Over 200 different forms of mental illness have been classified to date. Anxiety disorders, major depression, and ADHD are among the most common mental illnesses that occur in people with autism spectrum disorder.

In general, mental illness is believed to be caused by a range of factors, including:

Genetic traits: Mental illness is more common in people who have blood relatives with a mental disorder.

Environmental exposures: Being in the womb, including toxins, stressors, and inflammatory conditions.

Brain chemistry: Brain chemicals govern mood and emotion, and when the production of neurotransmitters or the function of nerve receptors change, mental illness often occurs.

Environmental factors: Stress, drug or alcohol abuse, and trauma commonly lead to mental illness.

While each type of mental illness has its own specific set of signs and symptoms, general signs and symptoms of mental illness, include:

Feelings of sadness

Changes in eathing or sleeping habits or sex drive

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Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Autism comes with a lot of symptoms that can be spotted in a person and help the diagnosis of the condition. The common symptoms of autism include problems in social and communication skills, difficulty in expression and feeling of emotions, sleep disturbances, etc.

The broad classification of the symptoms is:

  • Social skills issues

  • Restrictive and repetitive behaviors

Autism Spectrum Disorder And Bipolar Disorder

Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms appearing in the early developmental period of a childs life. The spectrum condition is characterized by social, behavioral, sensory, and communication issues. Autistic individuals engage in repetitive and restrictive behaviors these symptoms and characteristics should be serious enough to interfere with daily living and should not be better explained by another diagnosis according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders .

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition or mental disorder that causes atypical shifts or changes in an individuals energy level, mood, and ability to function. Bipolar disorder occurring in the pediatric population is the topic of much debate. A meta-analysis suggested prevalence of pediatric bipolar disorder of approximately 3.9% .

But, findings suggesting the heterogeneous community surveys were unsuitable for statistical meta-analysis resulted in a narrative analysis concluding that bipolar disorder is very rare in childhoodin fact the article suggests abandoning the term pediatric bipolar disorder.

Hypomania or mania is associated with elevated energy and mood, increased impulsivity, overconfidence, sleep disturbances , talking a lot and jumping from one conversation to the next.

Recommended Reading: How Can You Get Diagnosed With Autism

When To Contact A Doctor

Parents or caregivers who notice a child may be developing slower, or differently, than expected should talk with a doctor.

If children have trouble adjusting to, or engaging with, daily activities or demonstrate other symptoms or differences in behavior that impact behavior or communication, it is advisable to contact a doctor.

People who think they may be experiencing symptoms of mania or depression should also talk with a doctor as soon as possible.

Getting early, proper treatment typically reduces the risk of negative complications and increases the chance someone can live a normal life.

More Talkative Than Usual Or Pressure To Keep Talking


For children who have a communication disorder this symptom would not seem to apply. However, many children and adults with autism and Bipolar Disorder show an increase in their speech and vocalizations during a manic cycle. I have had many parents report the good news that their child is suddenly more verbal only to later report that the child is driving them crazy with the accompanying manic behavior. Children with autism may use more words, talk/vocalize faster than normal, be difficult to stop or interrupt, and/or may talk through the night.

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Myth: People With Autism Have Amazing Counting Skills

Truth: Some people who have autism have savant skills, such as being able to recite the phone book or calculate complicated mathematical problems in their head. But most dont, although many people with autism have impressive strengths, such as a good visual memory, that help them get by in the world.

Differences In Diagnostic Criteria

A difference weve already covered in the age of onset, with autism usually getting spotted earlier than bipolar. Some high-functioning individuals with autism might not get a diagnosis until theyre adults or teenagers. Like bipolar, there are no biological markers for doctors to diagnose the disorder, so its observed through a range of tests and questionnaires.

When a doctor suspects bipolar disorder, they might first perform a range of physical tests to rule out thyroid issues or other hormonal imbalances that might cause mood swings. At least one episode of mania must be present for a diagnosis of bipolar I.

Also Check: Can A Child Develop Autism At 5 Years Old

Can You Be Hypomanic Without Losing Control

Copyright, Stuart L. Kaplan, M.D. 2014

Stuart L. Kaplan, M.D., is the author of Your Child Does Not Have Bipolar Disorder: How Bad Science and Good Public Relations Created the Diagnosis. available at

  • Shea S. Turgay A et al. Risperidone in the treatment of disruptive behavioral symptoms in children with autistic and other pervasive developmental disorders. Pediatrics 2004 Nov:e634-41.
  • Owen R Sikich L. et al. Aripiprazole in the treatment of irritability in children and adolescents with autistic disorder. Pediatrics 2009,124:1533.
  • Martin J Cooper M. et al. Biological overlap of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder: evidence from copy number variants. J Am Acad Child Adolesc. Psychiatry. 2014 53:761-770.
  • Also Check: How Do You Know If A Child Has Autism

    Signs And Symptoms Of Asd

    This is Atypical Depression

    Not all people with ASD will have all of the signs and symptoms of the disorder, although most will experience several. Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder include:

    • Making little or no eye contact
    • Not looking at or listening to people
    • Failure to respond to someone trying to get their attention
    • Having problems having back-and-forth conversations
    • Having facial expressions, gestures, and movements that don’t match what’s being said
    • An unusual tone of voice
    • Trouble understanding others’ points of view or predicting others’ actions
    • Unusual behaviors or repeating certain behaviors
    • Intense, lasting interest in certain topics
    • Overly focused interests
    • Inability to cope with changes in routine
    • Greater or lesser sensitivity than neurotypical people to sensory input, such as noise or temperature

    People with autism also have marked strengths, which may include:

    The ability to remember information for a long time

    Being a strong visual and auditory learner

    Excelling in a particular subject, such as math, art, or music

    Also Check: Does Autism Run In The Family

    Wrapping Up Bipolar And Autism

    Concluding our discussion, any kind of mental illness or a mental health problem like the disorders are serious. The proper diagnosis of bipolar and autism needs to be done for the effective intervention of services. Both ASD and bipolar disorder have treatment options available.

    The condition becomes more complex when both autism and bipolar disorder exist together. In that case, when symptoms of bipolar disorder and autism overlap, you should only rely upon the diagnosis and treatment options put forth by your mental health professional. There is a connection between bipolar and autism, which must be understood, and that requirement of the reader is tried to be fulfilled in this reading.

    If you like this article about Bipolar and Autism and would like to know more leave a comment below.

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    Autism And Bipolar: What Is The Connection

    By Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

    Parents concerned about their autistic childs mood swings often ask if autism and bipolar disorder co-occur and whether symptoms overlapping mean the disorders are related.

    Autistic adults, diagnosed later in life, often talk about their struggle to get diagnosed. Far too many share details of being misdiagnosed, and suffering severe side effects of medication that did little to improve challenging autism symptoms. Because the autism spectrum is so wide, and symptoms manifest differently in each individual, some of these adults were erroneously diagnosed with a mental disorder like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia before eventually being accurately diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder .

    Many autistic individuals have a comorbid condition like anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , or less frequently bipolar disorder, which means diagnosis becomes even more complicatedespecially when symptoms of one disorder mask those of the other.

    For children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, an accurate diagnosis of comorbid mood disorders is crucial. Certain mood disorder medications cause severe side effects, and this is especially dangerous for a population with communication deficits which may render the child incapable of sharing distress.

    Read Also: Is Down Syndrome A Form Of Autism

    Getting Help With Bipolar Disorder

    If you think you may be experiencing some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, contact your GP. Your GP should be able to refer you to a local mental health team for further help.

    To get a better understanding of the symptoms, your GP or the mental health team may ask you some questions.

    • How many symptoms do you experience?
    • How long do your manic or depressive episodes last?
    • How many episodes have you had, and how frequently do they occur?
    • What impact do your symptoms have on yourlife?
    • What is your family history of mental health conditions?

    The mental health team may also ask you to keep a diary of your moods to help them to rule out other possible conditions that could be causing your symptoms.

    The full diagnosis process can take a while, as doctors and psychiatrists may want to monitor symptoms over time to avoid misdiagnosis.

    Read our Seeking help with mental health information for further details on accessing support.

    Can You Be Autistic And Bi

    Bipolar Disorder Vulnerability : Perspectives from Pediatric and High ...

    Posts: 93

    I know Autism is a spectrum disorder. So you might be a little or a lot.But can you have Bi-Polar disorder as well at the same time?Do any of you with a diagnosis have both?I wouldnt imagine Bi-Polar is a spectrum disorder, but I might be wrong.I could research it, but what the hell, I just thought I would ask here.Reason being, I have been diagnosed with having Hypomania by a past doctor andprescribed Olanzipine quickly binned thankyou.But never diagnosed with Bi-Polar. I seem to have the Up phase of it, but never the Down. Though I do get very depressed sometimes.Anyway.

    Location: Seattle, WA

    I have a triple diagnosis Aspergers, Avoidance Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder. With my BPD Im usually more in the down phase than up.

    Interesting. Thanks.I would probably be more down than up too.But I have not been diagnosed.

    Posts: 112

    Location: Ontario

    schizophrenia or bipolar? Asperger Fact SheetThey even wanted to branch out beyond the coastlines of America and expand their market to include the more rural and interior parts of America. So now some young kid, who may just be a little nerdy, geeky, or plain weird, will now be tagged with the autism label, and subjected to whatever help is deemed necessary by the elite coastal types. Do people here really believe that over 1% of children are truly autistic? Or is it just another power grab by the psychological profession?

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