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Comorbid Disorders With Bipolar Disorder

Have you noticed that along with your own diagnosis of Bipolar 1 or Bipolar 2, other symptoms or diagnosed illnesses come along for the ride. These illnesses say, “She does not have quite enough yet on her plate, what with the and all bipolar buiness, let’s add a little more.” Thank you , whoever you are.

A comorbid condition can also be known as comorbidity. A lot are psychiatric but a some are medical as well. Regardless, you need to take them into consideration for the management of your own good health. The following is a list of some of the comorbid conditions of bipolar disorder.

  • Substance Abuse Disorders
    About 60 percent of people with bipolar disorder have a problem with substance abuse. Substance abuse includes the over use of alcohol or the use of drugs, perhaps both. Often times a substance abuse problem will occur to someone who presented bipolar development at a young age. Those who experience mixed episodes and those who have a family history of substance abuse are also a targetTREATMENTS: Doctors stress that is important to treat both bipolar disorder and substance abuse disorders and that can occur in a dual diagnosis recovery program.
  • Anxiety Disorders
    Jeffrey Rakofsky, MD, a psychiatrist at the Emory University Bipolar etyClinic in Atlanta says, “Studies have shown that about 50 percent of patients have a lifetime anxiety disorder along with bipolar disorder.” Anxiety disorders include post traumatic stress (PTSD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder.
    I personally suffer greatly from comorbid anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder. I have severe generalized anxiety disorder with a large scoop of obsessive compulsive on the side. I become so overwhelmed most times that I break down and cry.  Obsessive compulsive disorder steals my time. From turning things the right way, counting and washing my hands, moments when I could be doing more productive things are stolen.TREATMENTS: Alternatives to antidepressants can be medications such as benzodiazepines. Some anticonvulsants seem to help and, of course there is also psychotherapy.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or (ADHD).
    It is surmised that 10 to 20 percent of people living with bipolar disorder also have ADHD. Symptoms of bipolar mania are often mistaken  for those of ADHD. Stimulants given to those who live with bipolar disorder. Stimulants, sometimes given to ADHD patients can reveal mania.TREATMENTS: Because people living with bipolar disorder should avoid stimulants, which are normally used to treat ADHD, behavioral treatments can be the alternative. “Usually the rule of thumb is to control the bipolarity first and then address the ADHD,” said Dr. Rakofsky.Comorbid conditions can make life harder because instead of one illness, you have two or three to manage. But once you have found the right approach and medication it will be a whole lot easier.


Comorbid Disorders With Bipolar Disorder

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2019). Comorbid Disorders With Bipolar Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Jul 2019
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