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Associated Conditions (Comorbidity) of Bipolar Disorder

Individuals with Bipolar Disorder are at high risk for developing other types of psychiatric conditions.   Anywhere from 50% to over 75% of all people with Bipolar Disorder will experience an Anxiety Disorder at some point in their lives, and in Bipolar I Disorder this is true in up to 90% of cases [ref].  About 30% of individuals with Bipolar Disorder will be diagnosed with a Personality Disorder [ref].  Over 50% of Bipolar Disorder patients will develop a Substance Abuse problem [ref].   Having one or more of these associated conditions predicts a more difficult course of Bipolar Disorder that is harder to treat [ref, ref, ref], and so it is important that these conditions be identified and treated. 

Individuals with Bipolar Disorder are also at a high risk for developing various general medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, migraines, dementia later in life, respiratory problems like COPD, asthma and chronic bronchitis, fibromyalgia and lower back pains, and various forms of cancer [ref, ref, ref].  There is evidence that some of these risks may be due to poor lifestyle choices regarding diet, smoking and drinking, which tend to be more common among people with Bipolar Disorder [ref].

 

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Bipolar Disorder in Children & Adolescents