Bipolar II and unipolar comorbidity in 153 outpatients with social phobia.Compr Psychiatry. 2001 Sep-Oct; 42(5):375-81.CP
Previous studies on social phobia (SP) have focused largely on comorbidity between SP and major depression. Less attention has been devoted to the comorbidity between SP and bipolar disorder. In this retrospective study, we investigated family history, lifetime comorbidity, and demographic and clinical characteristics among 153 outpatients who met DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria for SP. Information regarding axis I diagnoses was obtained using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM III-R (SCID-UP-R). Social phobic symptoms and the severity of the illness were assessed by the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) and the Liebowitz Social Phobic Disorders Rating Scale, Severity (LSPDRS). Patients completed the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL 90). Fourteen patients (9.1%) satisfied DSM-III-R criteria for lifetime bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (NOS) (bipolar II), while 71 (46.4%) had unipolar major depression and 68 (44.4%) had no lifetime history of major mood disorders. Comorbid panic disorder/agoraphobia (PDA), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and alcohol abuse were reported more frequently in the bipolar group than in the other two subgroups. Unipolar patients showed higher rates of comordid PDA and OCD compared with SP patients without mood disorders. Severity and generalization of the SP symptoms, prevalent interactional anxiety, multiple comorbidity, and alcohol abuse appeared to be the most relevant consequences of SP-bipolar coexistence. In a significant minority of cases, protracted social anxiety may hypothetically have represented, along with inhibited depression, the dimensional opposite of gregarious hypomania.