December 4, 2011

Mental Health Disorders by the Pair

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Joseph V. Madia, MD By:

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Obsessive compulsive disorder commonly coupled with depression and bipolar disorder

(dailyRx News) The prevalence of mental health disorders along with a recent increase in mental health awareness is beginning to help researchers understand how these disorders develop.  

Considering the rarity of mental health diseases such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and bipolar disorder, one would think it would be quite uncommon for such diseases to occur concurrently in an individual. However, a new study shows very high rates of comorbidity in mental health disorders, increasing the severity of some diseases.  

"Inform your therapist if you have more than one health issue."

A recent study, available through the Anxiety Disorders Association of America's journal Depression and Anxiety, investigated the role of comorbidity in the expression of OCD. Kiara Timpano, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Miami, led the study.

The Structured Clinical Review for DSM-IV was used to evaluate 605 OCD patients. Split into three groups, 13.1% of the group was bipolar, 64.1% were largely depressed, and 22.8% had OCD alone.

Comparisons among the groups analyzed comorbidity patterns, OCD symptoms, and impairments in order to determine the severity of their ailments.

Bipolar disorder patients revealed the most severe symptoms, followed by depression, and finally those with OCD alone. Fortunately, bipolar comorbidty represents a smaller segment.

Timpano explains, "those individuals with comorbid affective disorders, particularly BPD (bipolar disorder), represent a clinically severe group compared to those without such comorbidity."

Treatments are available for obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and major depression and show great results to many sufferers.

Talk with your doctor if suffering from a mental health disorder.  

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Reviewed by: 
Joseph V. Madia, MD
Review Date: 
November 29, 2011

Last Updated:
December 4, 2011