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ADD & Bipolar Mood Disorder

Posted Nov 17 2008 11:50pm

Questionncnblogasked:

I have a quick question, hopefully you can help me out. (Actually, a couple of questions, now that I think about it.)

I have a good friend from church who talks about being "hyper-attentive": or being in a state of "hyper-awareness" about his surroundings and the tasks he has to accomplish. He talks about being able to complete a series of tasks, rapidly, one after another, focusing his attention on each task, with an almost "insane" intensity. Now, the strange part is, this guy is VERY "unorganized, forgetful...etc." All of the "stereotypical" terms for people with ADD. (I hope I am not offending you, I am just trying to describe this guy, using every-day words.) Anyway, he talks about forgetting where he put things, not being able to pay attention in school (when he was a kid), of waiting until the last minute to complete tasks, only to forget to do them or come up short of time. BUT, he says that he has the very brief, very intense times in his life, usually less than 2 or 3 days in length, where he has a "super"-human ability to focus and get things done. I have seen evidence of this: he put off painting his bathroom for like 2 YEARS, and then in ONE WEEK, he painted the bathroom, the kitchen, the den, AND he put up a shed in the back yard. Then, it was like he came off of his "high" or whatever, and settled back into his routine. I guess my question is: Could he have ADD, and could the chemicals (sorry, I don't know the right terms)..but could the chemicals that "cause" ADD, when absent, be present in ABUNDANCE during these times of "hyper"-focus. In other words, is there an OPPOSITE to condition from ADD, like Attention "Too-Much" Disorder? I know this sounds weird, but this guy is amazing. He is one of my best friends, but he will hit these flurries of activity, like once every couple of months, and he is a DIFFERENT guy. Thanks for whatever input you could give, and sorry about the long post...

Without a proper diagnosis it would be impossible to determine if he has ADD.  A lot of the characteristics that you talk about seems like characteristics of many adults with ADD. The super intense times that you talk about in your question could be a symptom of bipolar mood disorder. Again without a proper diagnosis it would be impossible to determine if your friend suffers from bipolar mood disorder. Adults with ADD are more likely than the general population to suffer from Bipolar Mood Disorder. I am not an expert on ADD or Bipolar Mood Disorder, but if you look at the Questions section of this blog you will find articles and resources dealing with both ADD and Bipolar Mood Disorder.

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