What Illnesses Accompany Bipolar Disorder?


Many disorders mask themselves within the confines of more obvious symptoms. A person suffering from depression can try to cope with substance abuse, which in turn can trigger or prolong the symptoms of the original disorder. This is true for those suffering from bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness. Where does this illness begin and ADHD or PTSD begin? Which disorders commonly accompany bipolar disorder and where can you get help or find the resources when you or a loved one suffer?

Illnesses that can accompany the symptoms of manic-depressive illness include:

  • Depression (when in that part of the cycle)
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD)
  • Conduct disorder (CD)
  • Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Tourette’s syndrome (TS)
  • Seizure disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Eating Disorders
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Finding Support

When you suffer from bipolar disorder you must seek help. Usually, the first people to turn to are your family, friends, loved ones, your family doctor and medical professionals. It’s challenging to admit that you have a disorder, but this is key to successful diagnosis and treatment. Being a caregiver is also a daunting task, but helping a loved one is part of helping them survive. Obviously, there will be times when you also need the help and support of peers.


There are resources available to help you cope and keep to your routine: Support groups (in person and online); forums where you can safely discuss your symptoms and illness and get help from others suffering from the same disorder; caregiver support groups to help family members and friends. You can check your local directory to find community mental health centers, programs at universities or medical schools, social agencies, outpatient clinics, private facilities or recommended psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health counselors. If you can’t find any support groups in your general vicinity, you may be more comfortable joining online support groups, including:

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: This group recognizes that depression and bipolar disorders can isolate you. The DBSA support groups, including The Balanced Mind Parent Network, can help a person suffering from these disorders and parents supporting them connect with others who are going through the same problems, in a network of caring and sharing individuals.

PsychCentral Bipolar Support Groups: Psych Central’s bipolar support group is private and secure, operating since 1999 to help sufferes read the experiences of others with this disorder and, if you wish, to share your own experiences. They offer support to those suffering from bipolar disorder and their care-givers. Membership is free and this community is overseen by dedicated individuals that keep the forum safe. 

Bipolar Support Friends: If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorders and you want to not only receive, but give support to fellow members, this is the right support group for you. BSF wants to help you make positive life changes, and members are encouraged to speak their minds openly, but with respect for others. All members must be living with bipolar disorder and must be over the age of 18 years.

Mixed Nuts: This is a depression chat forum with a chat room and information regarding all forms or depression, including bipolar disorder. Depression can be devastating and affect your life and that of others around you, but Mixed Nuts also invites you to use humor as a means to cope while educating you about this disorder. 

Mood Garden Forums: Here you can find information, coping skills and support for those dealing with mood disorders. There is a wealth of knowledge contained within their pages, and many folks willing to help you if you suffer from depression or bipolar disorder.