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Several disorders may occur simultaneously with bipolar disorder. As these disorders are not all episodic, they may present themselves during the course of both mood mood stability. Further, the medications used to manage the symptoms of bipolar disorders may be ineffective against the symptoms of comorbid disorders, and, in some cases, are contraindicated because they aggravate other conditions.

  • Another comorbid condition that often confuses the diagnosis in the juvenile population is ADHD. ADHD and bipolar disorder co-occur frequently, perhaps due to their overlapping symptom profiles or to the prescription of stimulant medications to juveniles with ADHD [1].
  • Alcohol and drug abuse are very common among people with bipolar disorder. Research findings suggest that many factors may contribute to these substance abuse problems, including self-medication of symptoms, mood symptoms either brought on or perpetuated by substance abuse, and risk factors that may influence the occurrence of both bipolar disorder and substance use disorders. Treatment for co-occurring substance abuse, when present, is an important part of the overall treatment plan.
Main article: Bipolar disorder - With alcohol
Main article: Bipolar disorder - With drug abuse
  • Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, also may be common in people with bipolar disorder. Co-occurring anxiety disorders may respond to the treatments used for bipolar disorder, or they may require separate treatment. For more information on anxiety disorders, contact NIMH (see below).

See alsoEdit

References & BibliographyEdit

Key textsEdit




  • Strakowski SM, Sax KW, McElroy SL, Keck PE Jr, Hawkins JM, West SA. Course of psychiatric and substance abuse syndromes co-occurring with bipolar disorder after a first psychiatric hospitalization. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1998; 59(9): 465-71.
  • Strakowski SM, DelBello MP. The co-occurrence of bipolar and substance use disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 2000; 20(2): 191-206.

Additional materialEdit



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