This is such a good article comparing the two disorders, and they are so often mistaken for one another, that I thought I'd post it to the community. Our son, as most know, was misdiagnosed as having pediatric bipolar when he actually had high functioning autism. It's not uncommon for this to happen. Anyhow, here is the article! https://web.archive.org/web/2012032...iatric-bipolar-versus-asperger-s-disorder.php Pediatric bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a mental illness that presents itself in patients as mood swings or mood cycling. Pediatric bipolar type one patients tend to experience episodes of mania alternating with periodic episodes of depression. Pediatric bipolar type two patients tend to experience episodes of depression interspersed with periodic episodes of mild mania. Depression symptoms include anger, extreme sadness, sleeping too much, and feelings of worthlessness. Manic symptoms include bursts of rage, extreme happiness, increased energy, hyperactivity, distractibility, sleeping too little, and obsessive behaviors. Pediatric bipolar disorder is caused by a combination of neurological, biological, emotional, and environmental factors. Not all factors are present in every case, although most cases include biological and environmental factors. Little is known about the exact causes of pediatric bipolar disorder. However, advances are being made in this area. Asperger's disorder can be described as a mild form of autism. Actually, asperger's disorder is a type of pervasive development disorder that can cause developmental issues, especially in the areas of communication and social development. Symptoms of asperger's disorder include problems with social skills, odd or repetitive behavior or habits, communication difficulties, and obsession with a limited range of interests. The causes of asperger's disorder are not yet known. Studies show that asperger's disorder tends to run in families, meaning that it is hereditary. This fact shows that the underlying cause of asperger's disorder must be biological, meaning that it is either genetic or neurologically related. Pediatric bipolar disorder can be misdiagnosed as asperger's disorder because pediatric bipolar disorder can present itself via symptoms such as obsessive compulsive behavior, odd habits, and bouts of rage. Patients of pediatric bipolar disorder and asperger's disorder both have symptoms that lead to lacking social development skills, educational issues, behavioral issues, and anger issues. Pediatric bipolar can also be present in conjunction with asperger's disorder. Typically, this is the case. It is unknown, however, if the pediatric bipolar disorder is a result of the asperger's disorder, or if the same neurological issues that cause asperger's disorder are related to the chemical imbalances in the brain thought to be the cause of pediatric bipolar disorder. Answers to these questions will likely come to light as research in neurological, technological and psychiatric areas continue to progress. Medication treatments for pediatric bipolar and asperger's disorders are quite similar. There are no medications for asperger's disorder; however, medications exist to treat the symptoms of asperger's disorder. Since the symptoms of asperger's disorder, such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anxiety, are the same symptoms often experienced with pediatric bipolar disorder, the medications used in both instances are the same. Counseling treatments are also commonly used for both pediatric bipolar and asperger's disorders, used in conjunction with medication or alone. Most asperger's patients do not need medication. Counseling is required, however, to help the patient cope with their disability. Counseling treatments for pediatric bipolar disorder are considered necessary, with or without medication. These treatments can help the patient learn to recognize and correct irrational emotions or behavior.