High Rates of Comorbid Anxiety and Substance Use Disorders in Early Bipolar Disorder

Melissa Hasty1, Craig Macneil1, Sue Cotton2,3, Rothanthi Daglas2,3, Michael Berk2,4; 1Orygen Youth Health, 2Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental, 3Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, 4Deakin University

Purpose: Comorbidity has been associated with poorer illness trajectory and functional outcomes in bipolar disorder. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence, type, and stability of anxiety and substance use disorders in a youth cohort who were followed up over a 12-month period following a first episode of mania (FEM). Method: Forty (% male) individuals with FEM and psychotic features who were aged between 15 and 25 years and treated at two specialist psychosis early intervention services in Melbourne, Australia, were assessed on multiple psychosocial and symptomatic measures during their early recovery from a FEM and again 12 months later. Results: Twenty-three percent of participants were found to have a comorbid anxiety disorder and 63 percent met criteria for substance abuse or dependence at entry to the study. Stability of diagnosis at 12 month follow up and impact of anxiety and substance use disorders on functional recovery and quality of life will also be presented. Conclusions: High rates of anxiety and substance use disorders were identified in this first episode cohort. This highlights the importance of incorporating assessment and comprehensive treatment of comorbidity in psychological intervention for youth with FEM.

Topic Area: Mood Disorders

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