Some people with ADHD are known to have difficulties in controlling anger.

Whenever a person with ADHD has difficulties in controlling anger, how does one determine whether or not that person really has BPD? By which I mean to ask, how do we know that the anger is symptomatic of BPD rather than ADHD?

  • $\begingroup$ i asked myself that question thousand times and asked psychiatrists and clinical psychologist about that. they usually diagnose that as comorbidity. lot of them, in europe, thinks that adhd is hype diagnose. $\endgroup$ – ICanFeelIt Oct 23 '15 at 11:21
  • $\begingroup$ @ICanFeelIt So whenever an ADHD person has anger management problems, it implies co-morbid BPD? $\endgroup$ – Jack Bauer Nov 7 '15 at 8:59
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    $\begingroup$ Anger is not sufficient for diagnosing ADHD or BPD. Diagnosis is based on a convergence of symptoms that might include anger, but you wouldn't diagnose based on anger alone. So, as a clinician, you would distinguish between ADHD and BPD based on multiple symptoms other than anger. Indeed, anger may be a transdiagnostic symptom across various forms of psychopathology, so it lacks the specificity to be a useful single-factor indicator. $\endgroup$ – mrt Nov 7 '15 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ @mrt I think you misunderstood: ADHD is a given. If you are diagnosed with ADHD and have difficulties controlling anger, how will one determine if your anger is related to your ADHD or some other mental illness i.e. BPD. $\endgroup$ – Jack Bauer Nov 10 '15 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ Anger is elementary emotion, like surprise, sadness, disgust, joy and love. $\endgroup$ – ICanFeelIt Nov 16 '15 at 22:34

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a complicated diagnosis to understand and treat. A painful mix of emotional trouble, unstable relationships and self-destructive behavior, including suicide attempts are associated with BPD.

Experts have given a new name to BPD as Biosocial disorder. People who develop BPD are highly emotional, sensitive and reactive, more immediately and intensely than most people. And once a powerful emotion is triggered, it takes them longer to return to their emotional baseline.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition which includes attention difficulties, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

ADHD is often seen in childhood persisting into adolescence and adulthood, which contributes to hyperactivity, low self-esteem, disturbed relationships and attention difficulties at school or work.

In relation to anger, individuals with BPD report higher traits of aggression and hostility when provoked than individuals with ADHD.

Furthermore, individuals with BPD exhibit a higher state of anger and stress-dependent anger increase. In BPD patients, aggression and anger were positively correlated with emotion regulation deficits.

Being a Special Education Teacher at Accel Centre, there are kids and adults with special needs education who require vocational training for special needs that helps them to develop social skills and anger management.

Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5356413/

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    $\begingroup$ Can you define what you mean by Sped teacher? Are you talking about a non-UK equivalent to SEND? $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Jan 7 '19 at 11:45

The difference is in consistency. Bipolar disorder there is usually episodic; quick, drastic changes between normality, mania, depression and anger. ADHD on the other hand is chronic and affects attention and behavior rather than mood. Anger is of course a symptom but usually only situational. Over a period of time, bursts of anger and other moods can be documented and the pattern matched with ADHD, Bipolor, Autism or whatever similarly presenting issues.

BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

I was sure your question was asking about bipolar. Maybe I read it wrong. Distinguishing between BPD and ADHD is another matter because it's not about distinguishing per-se, more about deciding if you have one or both as there is symptom overlap. Again the answer is a complete medical and behavioral history however. The idea (as with above) is to gather all presenting symptoms then if you have the non overlapping symptoms of either or both ADHD (e.g.hyperactivity, disorganisation, attention) and BPD (e.g.emptiness, suicidal thoughts, self harming), they are diagnosed. It's very unlikely a person will present with only the overlapping symptoms but in that case...I'm not sure.

  • $\begingroup$ BPD is borderline not bipolar. I'll read the link on mood though. Thanks $\endgroup$ – Jack Bauer Nov 10 '15 at 19:37
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    $\begingroup$ I was sure you asked about bipolar, regardless I've updated my answer. :) $\endgroup$ – Ross Drew Nov 11 '15 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Thank yew, Ross Drou! So anger problems can indicate BPD or ADHD or both or something else regardless of the kind, type, degree or frequency of anger? I got the impression that the anger in BPD is different from the anger in ADHD, like how the anger in ADHD is different from normal anger: How Do You Tell 'Normal' Anger from 'ADHD Anger'? $\endgroup$ – Jack Bauer Nov 11 '15 at 21:07

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