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The Anxious Bipolar Patient

The Anxious Bipolar Patient

By Kavital Lohano, MD and Rif S. El-Mallakh, MD | September 6, 2011

in Psychiatric Times. Vol. 28 No. 9

Bipolar disorder is a clinically challenging condition. In addition to the multiple
mood states that patients can experience, the illness is frequently associated with
multiple comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions. Bipolar disorder can best
be understood as a family of related disorders that share core features of mood or
affective variation, impulsivity, propensity toward substance abuse, and
predisposition to other psychiatric conditions.1 Most patients who have bipolar
disorder have a coexisting anxiety disorder.2 These include generalized anxiety
disorder (GAD), social phobia, panic disorder, and PTSD.2 Anxiety disorders, by
themselves or in combination with a mood disorder, are associated with an
increased risk of suicide and psychosocial dysfunction.

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