Based on the article: “Prevalence, chronicity, burden and borders of bipolar disorder” by Fagiolini et.al. Journal of Affective Disorders 148 (2013) 161-169
How many times have you gone through your list of meds and noticed that most of ’em aren’t even for treating your bipolar, or is it just me? Apparently not, according to research.
BD is frequently associated with comorbidity. One study showed that BD may be twice as likely to occur with another axis I psychiatric disorder) than to occur on its own (Axis I disorders are disorders that represent acute symptoms that need treatment). General medical conditions like hyperglycaemia, diabetes, angina, metabolic syndrome etc. are also more prevalent among bipolars. Common comorbid diseases include pain disorders, anxiety disorders, impulse control disorders and personality disorders. The train doesn’t stop there, bipolars are also more likely to have cardiovascular disease, be overweight, and struggle with substance abuse and eating disorders, all while probably trying to shrug off a migraine.
Whoa, this article is no fun! Unfortunately, BD is no fun, only thing that gives me pleasure about taking so many different pills, is enjoying the variety of colours they come in. (When are they bringing out benzo’s with hypnotic patterns printed on them huh?) I can go on and talk about the correlation between substance abuse and BD (shocking stats btw). But I don’t want to. It is all a tad depressing, unless you take this article and see it as an answer to many questions you have about your diagnosis. For example, when I first read the article on which this one is based, it felt like stuff made more sense. I felt less guilty about feeling ‘iffy’ all the time and about having so many different things wrong with me. (I’m prediabetic, obese, OCD, an insomniac and anxious most of the time) Best of all, my migraines finally had an explanation.
Please keep in mind that correlation does not imply causation. Just because you have BD, and all these many illnesses have been found to be more prevalent amongst people with BD, does not mean you suffer from all or even some of those illnesses.
So take this new information and let it shed light on some things that have been bothering you about your health. Throw the irrelevant bits into a dark hole, away from your thoughts.
As always, I would love to hear your stories of how you’re fighting more than one beast at a time and winning, if you’re losing, tell me anyway, someone may just be able to relate with you.