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What does co-morbidity mean with bipolar disorder?

Sheri Van Dijk
Psychiatry

The term co-morbidity simply refers to having more than one illness at the same time. So if a person has bipolar disorder and also has an anxiety disorder, these illnesses are co-morbid. You may have read in the literature that bipolar disorder has a high rate of co-morbidity, which means that it often co-occurs with other mental illnesses.

Ruth White, MPH
Social Work

Morbidity in this context refers to an illness so that co-morbidity means that there is another mental health condition that is occurring at the same time as bipolar disorder. For example someone can have Attention Deficit Disorder at the same time that they have Bipolar Disorder so that these illnesses would be co-morbid. In the past the term used was 'dual diagnosis'.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.