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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 126-134

Frequency of psychiatric comorbid symptoms in bipolar disorder patients in remission

Department of Psychiatry, Father Muller Medical College Hospital, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Aarshie Koul
Department of Psychiatry, Father Muller Medical College Hospital, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_233_20

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Introduction: Psychiatric comorbidity has been detected in one-third of bipolar patients. The illness itself may be a precipitating factor for developing substance use and anxiety disorders. Comorbid anxiety disorders with bipolar disorder (BD) are associated with decreased chances of recovery, poorer role functioning, and quality of life, and greater likelihood of suicide attempts. Hence, identifying comorbid symptoms in remitting patients has important preventive and therapeutic implications. Aims: The aim of the study was to estimate the frequency of psychiatric comorbid symptoms in patients of bipolar affective disorder in remission and to identify its relationship with sociodemographic variables. Methodology: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in Father Muller Medical College and Hospital, Mangalore (April 2019–July 2019), which included 90 patients aged 18–50 years with BD, manic, or depressive episodes in remission for 8 weeks who were evaluated using mini international neuropsychiatric interview plus, Hamilton rating scale for depression, and young mania rating scale. Sociodemographic details were assessed by a semi-structured pro forma. The data were analyzed using frequency, Chi-square test, and t-test. Results: Most common psychiatry comorbid symptoms seen in BD were found to be drug dependence/abuse (n = 31), second most common being alcohol dependence/abuse (n = 21), followed by suicidality (n = 8), antisocial personality, social phobia, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. Significance was found for suicidality, agoraphobia, and social phobia if the last episode was depressive and for suicidality if index episode was depressive and if age of onset was >40 years. Conclusion: Psychiatric comorbidities in BD may worsen the course and prognosis of the disorder and hence, clinicians must maintain a high index of suspicion for them. Furthermore, comorbidities may need to be identified and appropriate interventions employed to prevent iatrogenic complications.

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