There are a myriad of different symptoms that can be associated with bipolar disorder and they can all be challenging to treat. Anxiety is a common problem for people with bipolar disorder and many patients can even have a comorbid issue with an anxiety disorder. Problems like panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder can all be co-occurring with bipolar disorder.
Whether a patient has a co-occurring disorder or simply experiences anxiety as a symptom of bipolar disorder, it can significantly disrupt their life and cause problems with functioning. Anxiety can lead to constant worrying, restlessness, fatigue, trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating. Treating anxiety as part of the overall management of bipolar disorder is crucial in order for the patient to live and work normally.
Someone with bipolar disorder and anxiety may need a certain combination of different medications to help stabilize them. Antidepressants can be very effective at treating anxiety but psychiatrists need to be cautious because they can potentially induce mania in some patients with bipolar disorder. Another option could be the use of antipsychotics although lower doses have been proven less effective for patients with bipolar disorder.
A combination of the right medication and psychological treatment is essential for reducing the symptoms of anxiety in people with bipolar disorder. Methods like cognitive behavioral therapy have been proven to be very effective at reducing anxiety in patients with all kinds of different disorders. Regular therapy sessions are an important step in helping patients learn to minimize their anxiety symptoms through positive coping mechanisms.
More than half of people with bipolar disorder also have anxiety so psychiatrists must assess each patient for the severity of their anxiety symptoms and come up with a treatment plan. It is possible to reduce anxiety along with other symptoms of bipolar disorder with qualified professional treatment.