We now know that there are many types
of coexisting disorders (most of which have been caused by the ADHD
or ADD). For example check out my post on ODD here http://www.medhelp.org/posts/ADD---ADHD/Adult-with-ODD/show/1966456#post_9234381
It is possible that with a severe case of ODD, your doctor figured it was bipolar. And maybe not. But, in the good ole days, a doctor was more apt to sedate, then give a stim med.
To answer your question, bone up on all the info you can on ADHD.