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Dr. Vikas
Dr. Vikas, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2253
Experience:  MBBS ; M.D Psychiatry, MS. Health Informatics
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I am wondering whether my OCD could be comorbid with

Customer Question

I am wondering whether my OCD could be comorbid with Bipolar.
About a month ago (at the height of my OCD of my life) i developed an obsession or fear of having bipolar.
This elevated into anxiety and since prompted me to reassess my habits and start putting an end to my ocd tendencies.
I started these tendencies during high school when studying, and at the time remember thinking that this is a bad habit to start, and it since has developed over the last 4 years.
I do not think i experience bipolar symptoms (apart from some mood swings that i figure are related to my anxiety that i have experienced when in the depth of an ocd worrying state) and this occurred a few months ago. It prompted me to research OCD and i have since learnt alot and been able to target my disorder. I do not get clinically 'depressed' as such and have not had a manic 'episode' as such apart from an elation from feeling like i have overcome my ocd to a degree, and sometimes when i come out of an ocd state.
But i have read that often OCD symptoms may precede bipolar symtpoms, and I am worried i may develop bipolar.
My OCD is mainly checking and i think it may be of the Pure OCD type. I do not have compulsions (that is physical compulsions to order or clean things for example).
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 4 years ago.
OCD and Bipolar disorder can co-exist. One does not trigger the other. The bipolar disorder is a depressive spectrum condition. Thins to look into would be whether or not you've been diagnosed with unipolar depression, if anyone in your family is suffering from depressive disorders - depression/bipolar disorder. These have a genetic component to them.
Unless you become manic or hypomanic, bipolar spectrum disorders would be ruled out.
The fear of becoming bipolar can indeed relate to your OCD as evident by obsessive worrying/unfound fears.
If your OCD/anxiety is moderate to severe, in addition to self help medication and professional help would be beneficial. You may not be able to manage the anxiety all on your own especially if recently you've noticed a change in your thought process/behavior.
When you speak of mood swings, it would be helpful to note how often are these occurring and to what extent. Are these just regular shifts of mood from anhedonia to morbid depression then to mania, etc.
If the mood swings are not severe enough to constitute a bipolar disorder, it may be a case of cyclothymia with rapid cycling. Yet, to know for sure, a face to face evaluation with a professional would be warranted.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I find that my mood swings are very much dictated by how much i feel ontop of my ocd - so whether i have cleared my head or whether i feel i have achieved steps in overcoming my ocd. can this also help rule out the possiblity of bipolar?
I know my ocd definitely started first, getting myself into bad habits of checking whilst studying.
When it is said that the OCD symptoms often appear first - can i be concerned that i may develop or experience bipolar symptoms in the future?
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 4 years ago.
Alex, it can rule out bipolar as it shows a pattern that is tied more to your anxiety level. Of course, it is a good idea to be mindful of what you're experiencing as multiple conditions can co-exist. The bipolar disorder would be evident only if you have at least one manic episode followed by a depressed state.
For the time being, if possible, try not to think that OCD will bring on bipolar disorder and try to manage the anxiety level as best as you can.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
More detailed info specific to the question.
Expert:  Dr. Vikas replied 4 years ago.
Hello Alex,

Thank you for your question, I’m Dr. Vikas (M.D Psychiatry) and I’ll try to help you today.

Bipolar disorder is diagnosed on the basis of certain diagnostic criteria as given by DSM classification. It is very true that Bipolar disorder can be comorbid with OCD but OCD dose not cause Bipolar disorder or vice versa.

OCD symptoms do not precede Bipolar disorder however a patient suffering from OCD may or may not develop Bipolar symptoms later on in life.

Is it possible for you to try a short online screening quiz for Bipolar disorder and let me know about your score. This quiz can be slightly helpful in deciding whether or not you should be screened for the presence of Bipolar disorder.

Bipolar screening quiz


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi my score was 14. This said I had possibly a mild depressive disorder. I know that some of the criteria such as my feeling of happiness vs sadness is the result of anxiety associated with ocd and not a bipolar disorder.
I am responding well to treatment for my pure ocd, so is this a positive sign also?
Expert:  Dr. Vikas replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for trying the quiz.

On the basis of this score, Bipolar disorder is unlikely in your case and you need not to worry about the possibility of Bipolar disorder right now :)

OCD is a bit difficult to treat disorder and if you are responding to the treatment, it is a very good sign that you will recover very soon.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service and I hope I’ve provided the information you were seeking, if not, please let me know so that l can continue to help you. If you need more help, please use the reply tab to continue our conversation.

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Kind regards


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