Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety: Similarity and Difference 

Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety: Similarity and Difference 


Are bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders linked? According to a 2018 study, anxiety disorder was found to be 3 to 7 times higher in people with bipolar disorder than in the general population with anxiety disorder. Visit the best Mental Health Clinic in East New York or log on to 

While they share significant symptoms, bipolar disorder is not an anxiety disorder. Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental condition that causes extreme mood shifts between highs and lows. Mood shifts happen very quickly; you feel active and happy at the beginning and suddenly start feeling sad. This kind of mood shift interferes with daily activities and relationships.  

On the other hand, anxiety disorders are usually concentrated for a brief time about worries regarding daily life activities which can cause intense anxiety or panic attacks. Generalized anxiety disorders (GADs) give persistent worries and anxiety that are severe enough to interfere with the ability to carry out everyday activities. 


While both are different, some symptoms such as sleep issues, racing thoughts, or irritability are similar, which makes it hard to separate one from another. If you experience an anxiety disorder during bipolar disorder, symptoms get worst:  

  • No. of mood shift episodes increases 
  • Having more mixed features episodes such as episodes that contain both mania and depression symptoms.  
  • Major increase in depressive episodes (as the first episodes) 
  • Suicidal thoughts and plans to kill himself/herself 
  • Increase in frequency and severity of mood episodes 
  • Increase in the rapid cycle (a medical term for a person who experiences at least 4 mood episodes in a year). 
  • Increased risk of substance use disorder 
  • Poor response to treatment  
  • Increase in severe negative events after taking medication  
  • Decrease in the quality of life.  

If you notice someone planning self-harm or having suicidal thoughts, call the emergency suicide prevention number or 911. Stay with that person until help arrives and remove any dangerous thing or weapon around.  


While they look quite similar, they are quite different. Bipolar disorder is a permanent mood disorder while anxiety disorder and even GADs (generalized anxiety disorders) can go away if the life situation is positive.  

While anxiety and distress are present in the lows of bipolar disorder, it does not affect the high/manic episodes of bipolar disorder. Even though the symptoms look similar, the cause of the symptoms is different; such as sleep problems in bipolar disorder is caused by a decrease in feelings(depression) or feeling more active(mania). In the case of GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), the symptoms of anxiety and stress make you unhappy with little to no sleep. All the symptoms have different causes.  

While anxiety is an ongoing condition, episodes of mania or depression, or sometimes mixed can vary or follow one another. A person with anxiety frequently fears the worst-case situation. Those with bipolar disorder frequently dread the despair/depression that will follow the manic episode of moving forward “full steam.” 

The connection between BD and GAD 

Anxiety and bipolar disorder often exist with other mental health conditions. These two are experienced by most people, even at least half of people who experience bipolar disorder also experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime.  

The good news is both conditions are treatable, treatment needs a combination of medication and therapy. 

Bipolar and anxiety disorders are quite similar but still different from each other. Bipolar disorder causes extreme mood shifts and anxiety disorder causes persistent worries about life situations. Both affect your thinking and behavior. But anxiety causes only negative effects for a long time but bipolar disorder switches between positive and negative effects simultaneously. Both conditions are treatable, which improves your quality of life.  

If you are looking for treatment, Doral Health and Wellness has the best Doctors and Psychiatrists that specialize in Behavioral health make accurate diagnoses, and craft tailored treatment programs. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212.  

In order to schedule a consultation with the best Mental health Clinic in East New York, please visit  

Call us at 1-347-384-5690 to schedule a consultation.
Better treatment can change your life for the better. Choose us, call now. 

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