What is a comorbid psychiatric disorder?

A “comorbid psychiatric disorder” refers to an individual suffering from one or more psychiatric disorders apart from substance or behavioral addiction. Examples of comorbid psychiatric disorders are depression, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, adjustment disorder or personality disorder.

Previous research indicates there is a close relationship between addiction and psychiatric disorders. Addiction can have a wide range of adverse effects on individuals, families, and society. The negative consequences including family conflict, financial and debt problems, physical and mental health problems, criminal behavior, as well as suicidal ideation or attempts, cause severe emotional distress to individuals. This further increases the risk of developing psychiatric disorders. On the other hand, individuals with comorbid psychiatric disorders may adopt addictive behavior as a way of escaping from or coping with the emotional distress or psychiatric symptoms.

Generally, depression is a common comorbid psychiatric disorder. An individual who suffers from depression is likely to present the following symptoms:

  • depressed mood
  • marked diminished interest or pleasure in all activities
  • significant weight loss or gain, or increase or decrease in appetite
  • insomnia or hypersomnia
  • psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • fatigue or loss of energy
  • feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
  • recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation
Formal diagnosis of comorbid psychiatric disorders should be made by professional practitioners. If you suspect you, family members, friends or partners have the above symptoms other than addiction which causes you or them impairment in academic performance, work, family or social relationship, please do not hesitate to seek help by calling us on 2827 1000.