We were too. We were almost willing to keep treating our son for ADHD/ODD because it seemed moreh hopeful, even though he was getting progressively worse. Hearing "bipolar" does not change who your child is. It does not make him more hopeless. It does not make his future worse. It does not mean he is hopeless. In fact, bipolar is very controllable, and many very successful people are bipolar. Your child is the same person he was the day before if he gets a diagnosis of bipolar. The only difference, a big one, is that you know how to treat it. Stims and antidepressants, so often used for ADHD, can make bipolar worse. It DOES matter if you get the label, at least I think so, because the label helps you get the RIGHT treatment. ADHD is not as severe as bipolar, from all i've read on it, and is not progressive. Bipolar, UNTREATED, is progressive and your child CAN get worse. Each cycle causes the brain more damage...it is called the kindling effect. The drug Lithium can help health the brain---it has MANY benefits. Unfortuantely, a lot of psychiatrists, not really "up" on bipolar, are more prone to use newer, less effective medications, but Lithium also has anti-suicidal properties. It is important to treat BiPolar (BP) before the teen years as that is when 80% of all kids with bipolar abuse substances, and that just makes them dual diagnosis kids---kids with brain disorders PLUS substance abuse issues. Then they have TWO demons to battle. I have many relatives in my famly, with unmedicated, untreatead bipolar, who are now also heavily into alcolishm or even cocaine abuse. WARNING: The stimulants used for ADHD are very often abused by teens. I have no opinon on whether or not they should be used for ADHD, but a niece of mine who was an addict for a few years, says they are hot drugs on the street and teens often fake ADHD to get them. She says they use pillcrushes to crush them, then snort them, either alone or with other drugs. She says she was addicted to stims during her drug years. yes, s he had an ADHD diagnosis. I hope this little blurb helps. I know where some of you are coming from . Bipolar seems like a death sentence, but only unmedicated, wrongly treated bipolar is that horrible. Bipolar misdiagnosed is far worse. (((Hugs))) to all.